(image via ZUffa, LLC / article by Adam LeBarr)
UFC on FOX 11 in Orlando, FL was not only a fun fight-card for the fans, but also somewhat shocking. Many had Travis Browne coming out victorious due to his past dominance in the Heavyweight division…many predicted it wrong.
The preliminary fight-card was stacked. Great match-ups that turned into exciting brawls and delivered a solid card for the UFC’s 11th outing on Fox. Thiago Alves would return to the octagon after a 2 year layoff to defeat his opponent Seth Baczynski. We also can't forget the main-preliminary fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Rafael dos Anjos. Nurmagomedov's professional MMA record improved to an even more impressive 22-0 as he dominated dos Anjos in their 3 round battle.
The first fight of the main-card was a freakishly big one (as far as size in the Middleweight division). Yoel Romero, Cuban Olympic silver medalist took on Brad Tavares.
Romero dominated the fight with huge take downs, ground control and fast paced striking. In the end, with 78% strike accuracy and a total of 7 take downs, it was Romero who would come out victorious and looked like a very formidable force to be reckoned with in the UFC’s middleweight division.
Just before the co-main event, we were treated to some brilliance in the form of Donald Cerrone vs. Edson Barboza.
Early on in the fight, Barboza was getting the best of Cerrone. He looked every bit the favorite as he showed greater speed, landed with more total strikes from the opening exchange.
It all changed in an instant.
As the fight was nearing the end of round #1, Cerrone landed with a big jab, putting Barboza to the floor which 'Cowboy' would quickly exploit to take his back and sink in a rear-naked choke, solidifying a submission victory.
Donald Cerrone says this is his run at the Lightweight gold - 5 years in the making.
The co-main event featured Miesha Tate vs. Liz Carmouche in a very close fight.
Early in the fight, Carmouche was coming out strong, looking like she was going to dominate and force Tate to her 3rd loss in a row. As the fight went into the third frame Tate sprang back to life and started a furious comeback, coming close to finishing the USMC veteran via rear naked choke. While the very tough Carmouche would not tap, it was enough to secure the victory for Tate.
Cain Velasquez vs. Werdum?
Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne were set to main-event FOX’s 11th UFC event, also told that winner will receive a title shot against current Heavyweight champion, Cain Velasquez.
Most journalist/media fight picks had Browne as a heavy favorite and expected him to come out the winner. Good thing Fabricio Werdum never bought into the pre fight hype.
From round #1 to round #5, Werdum beat Browne in every aspect of the fight. He out struck Browne, did damage when on the ground and was also the first to take Browne down not once, but twice.
In the end, it was a 50-45 unanimous decision victory (besides one judge who had it 49-46) that would add another dangerous opponent to Werdum's list of victims. Up next for the ever improving Brazilian, is a shot at the UFC heavyweight title. The only problem is, there is a very fearsome man named Cain Velasquez who has no plans to give up his belt anytime soon.
Full fight card after the jump.
Fabricio Werdum def. Travis Browne via unanimous decision (49-46, 50-45, 50-45)
Miesha Tate def. Liz Carmouche via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Donald Cerrone def. Edson Barboza via submission(rear naked choke) - Round 1 3:15
Yoel Romero def. Brad Tavares via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Preliminary card (FOX Sports 1)
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Thiago Alves def. Seth Baczynski via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jorge Masvidal def. Pat Healy via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Alex White def. Estevan Payan via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:28
Caio Magalhaes def. Luke Zachrich via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 0:44
Jordan Mein def. Hernani Perpetuo via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Preliminary card (Fight Pass)
Dustin Ortiz def. Ray Borg via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Mirsad Bektic def. Chas Skelly via majority decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28)
Derrick Lewis def. Jack May via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:23
Fight of the Night: Thiago Alves vs. Seth Baczynski
Performance of the Night: Donald Cerrone & Alex White