Fabricio Werdum earned himself a title fight against Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight kingpin Cain Velasquez by defeating Travis Browne this past weekend (April 19, 2014) at UFC on FOX 11 in Orlando, Florida.
See the highlights here.
The title fight will pit two of the best ground fighters (in the eyes of this trainer) in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) against one another. Cain has the ability to ground-and-pound his way to victory with his relentless striking attack, while Werdum prefers to let his slick submission skills take over once on the ground.
It's those jiu-jitsu skills that have forced "Vai Cavalo's" opponents to think twice about taking the fight to the canvas.
But, according to Javier Mendez -- Cain's head trainer -- he isn't afraid to let his star pupil let the fight play out on the floor against Werdum because Cain's jiu-jitsu is very underrated.
He also admits that he didn't give Werdum much of a chance in a striking battle against Browne, during his appearance on The MMA Hour:
"At the very beginning I thought it was going to be a short fight. And then, I don't know what happened but Fabricio weathered the storm. I thought he did an incredible job. He looked very impressive and it excited me. We have our work to do. We can't underestimate one bit. His improvement in his stand up is almost night and day from his last fight. I thought he could win, but I thought it would be on the ground. I didn't give him a chance in the stand up. Not at all."
"I think it's a more exciting match up, it excites me. We can't underestimate any part of what he has. I didn't come into this fight expecting to stand up as much, I'll tell you that. It's an exciting thought for me to actually put a great gameplan against him because he is formidable. I think a lot of people underestimate Cain's jiu-jitsu. He is a legit black belt under Leandro Vieira of Checkmate BJJ. Me, I'm not afraid to see Cain go to the ground against anybody, especially in MMA. So, I'm not concerned with that. He's got a good ground game and he's good everywhere."
Indeed, Cain earned his jiu-jitsu black belt last year, but has yet to record a submission victory in his UFC career. But who needs submissions when you're running through your foes left and right?
Nevertheless, Team Velasquez is prepared for an all-out ground battle against Werdum if need be, but, as we witnessed this past weekend, it would behoove Team Velasquez to stay sharp in the striking department, as well
How about it Maniacs, who has the upper hand in an MMA ground battle, Velasquez or Werdum?