Ever hear something so unbelievable, you just had to see it for yourself?
UFC on FOX 11: "Werdum vs. Browne" took place last night (Sat., April 19, 2014) at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, and it's safe to say the card completely kicked ass on so many levels.
The main event saw Fabricio Werdum acquire a title shot against Cain Velasquez, by beating Travis Browne at his own game. "Vai Cavalo" mixed it up and threw Browne off guard by nailing him with a diverse striking game which won him the fight on all three scorecards (highlights here).
Miesha Tate's performance wasn't so clear cut, but she still got the job done against Liz Carmouche in the co-main event, closing out the fight strong and getting the unanimous decision nod from the judges (highlights here).
Also on the card, Donald Cerrone beat Edson Barboza by rear-naked choke in the first round, Yoel Romero topped Brad Tavares on points, and Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Rafael dos Anjos on the "prelims" in a pivotal lightweight clash, with potential title implications riding on the line.
Before all the mixed martial arts (MMA) action unfolded inside the Octagon, there were promotional appearances to generate awareness for -- and interest in -- a trip to Orlando. Fighters said this and that, answering questions galore when all they really wanted to do is be left alone and not be bothered.
MMAmania.com does a pretty good job of passing along all the noteworthy pre- and post-fight comments for each event. But, as we've done before, let us look at the words that left the fighters' mouths before they stepped into the cage last weekend.
"For me, it's so important that since I'm known for my jiu-jitsu, to train harder and make sure it's a responsibility for me to show my jiu-jitsu. So, although I train for everything else, I want to make sure I'm on top game in jiu-jitsu."
Talk about a serious prank.
Werdum is known for having arguably the best jiu-jitsu in the sport, yet he didn't need it last night. He did take his opponent down a few times, but his choice to box and pick apart Browne on the feet was incredibly surprising. What was even more surprising to some is that he completely decimated Browne by using his combinations, kicks and even feints to confuse and tear away at his counterpart.
"The unknown is what's scary. People don't understand what they're getting in the cage with until the fight's over. You don't know what I'm going to hit you with. You don't know what's coming. Werdum has not seen anything close to me. For most of my fights, I don't need judges. It's a dog eat dog world and he's just in my way."
-- Browne definitely dipped into the unknown last night.
He had no idea "Vai Cavalo" was ready to trade against him on the feet for five rounds, coming up short in the end and losing an opportunity at a title fight. He said Werdum had not seen anything close to him, but it was the complete opposite. "Hapa" may not have needed the judges last night, but in the end, they weren't on his side anyway.
"What feeds a fighter's soul is victory...so, imagine like a tiger or a cougar or spending so much energy to catch their prey, and it doesn't happen. You get more hungry and hungry, and you just got to go for it and give it all you got. That's kind of where I'm at. I'm really hungry and I want this win, and I'm willing to do anything to get it."
-- Fortunately for Tate, she was able to snap a two-fight losing skid and after the tormenting loss to her bitter rival Ronda Rousey at UFC 168, she can now breathe and anticipate another big fight in the Octagon sometime soon. Tate would have gone 1-4 in her last five fights had she lost last night, so she has to feel pretty damn good about beating Liz Carmouche, even if it was by the skin of her teeth.
"When I got the news that I'd be on the main card, I was excited. Nothing against Yoel, he's a very tough opponent, but I was hoping to get somebody already in the top 10 -- a bigger name, a little more well-known in the UFC. But once I sign on that dotted line, it's all about Yoel and I'm focused on him."
-- Tavares must have thought beating Lorenz Larkin at UFC Fight Night 35 was the equivalent of cracking the Da Vinci code, because he was very vocal about getting a big name after his upset win. In all fairness to Tavares, he only lost once before last night's fight, plus he beat Phil Baroni. The Hawaiian should have focused a little more on Romero, since the Cuban threw him down at will and made it a very difficult night for him to cope with.
"I will come very well prepared and be sure to bring this victory. I'll make this Khabib stop this talking that nobody wants to fight him, he is a guy who has been talking a lot. I'm going to shut up him so he learns not to speak ill of jiu-jitsu. I will make him throw that shirt in the trash."
-- Rafael dos Anjos hung in there, yet he didn't really make Nurmagomedov pay for anything. "The Eagle" should still be feared and after his win on the "prelims" last night, we don't even need to put jiu-jitsu in the same sentence as the assessment. The Russian took the Brazilian down at will and despite him being a relatively calm guy, this t-shirt is probably still in his closet somewhere.
Monday would be a good time to put it on.
For complete UFC on FOX 11: "Werdum vs. Browne" results, video highlights and recaps, check out our story stream here.