Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight contenders Cain Velasquez and Travis Browne scrapped last night (Sat., July 9, 2016) at UFC 200 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Velasquez’s last few years have been rough, as he battled repeated injuries and lost his title after finally making his return. To get back on track, Velasquez needed a strong performance here.
Similarly, Browne’s recent performances have been inconsistent. Nonetheless, this was a massive opportunity for the knockout artist, as a victory over the former champion would shoot him into the title picture once again.
To watch Cain Velasquez vs. Travis Browne full fight video highlights from UFC 200 last night click here!
Velasquez wasted little time before pressuring his opponent, attacking with low kicks while Browne looked to counter. While Velasquez failed on his first takedown attempt, his striking was on point, as he picked apart his larger opponent.
Before long, a wheel kick followed up by some right hands dropped "Hapa" to the mat. Browne did well to survive, but then he was on his back and eating shots. Browne eventually worked back to his feet, but he was still so badly hurt that Browne easily put him on his back.
Despite there being less than 30 seconds on the clock, Velasquez moved into back control and went to work. The shots Velasquez landed from this position weren’t powerful, but Browne was so badly hurt and unable to defend himself that it didn’t matter.
With just three seconds remaining in the round, Velasquez forced the finish.
This was an absolutely stellar performance for Velasquez. In all honestly, he had a major advantage in each area, but the question was whether or not he was healthy and if he would rush into a counter punch.
Velasquez passed both tests.
In this bout, Velasquez fought with excellent measured pressure. He didn’t rush in; he picked Browne apart. Even before the badass wheel kick, Velasquez was socking Browne up and shredding his lead leg.
Furthermore, Velasquez was his usual self as he pursued the finish. He simply kept attacking without any breaks, and it brought this bought to a quick end.
Following this win, a rematch with Fabricio Werdum would make sense.
On the other hand, Browne found very little success outside of one nice right hand. For the most part, he got backed up and bombed on. Browne has always relied on his athletic gifts and size more than striking technique, and that really backfired here.
Simply put, "Hapa" was utterly dominated.
The only silver lining is that Browne showed off his toughness once again, eating some seriously hard shots without going out. While toughness may be an admirable asset, it’s pretty much the last attribute fighters want to demonstrate.
At this point, it’s pretty clear that Browne is not a title contender. He’s faltered each opportunity to step up, and there hasn’t been much development to his game. Unless Browne makes major changes, he’s not likely to fight for the title.
Last night, Cain Velasquez dominated in his first fight back since losing the strap. Can the wrestler return to UFC gold?
For complete UFC 200: "Tate vs Nunes" results and play-by-play, click HERE!