Fabricio Werdum Wins UFC Interim Heavyweight Title
Fabricio Werdum unleashed a devastating knee to the head that knocked out Mark Hunt in the second round of the UFC’s interim heavyweight championship at UFC 180 in Mexico City, Mexico.
Surviving the Early Onslaught
Werdum came back from two knockdowns and survived Mark Hunt’s early onslaught to become the 5th ever interim heavyweight champion in UFC history. The 37-year old Brazilian looked a little tentative in the first round after Hunt dropped him with a right hand that glazed his temple. Hunt also staggered Werdum with a monster uppercut later in round one then scored on a takedown to secure the opening round. Hunt continued to swing for the fences in the second round and knocked Werdum down for a second time.
Vicious Flying Knee
The 40-year old Super Samoan looked like he was one big punch away from completing a Cinderella ride. But just as he was taking control of the bout, he walked right into a vicious flying knee that immediately dropped him cold. Werdum then rushed in for the kill with hammer fists, and although referee Herb Dean gave Hunt all the time to recover, the New Zealander could not defend himself. The bout was stopped at the 2:27 mark of round 2.
Evolution of Werdum
The victory culminated Werdum’s evolution as a mixed martial artist. When Werdum first came to the UFC in 2007, he was one of the most decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu practicioners in the promotion. However, without a good stand up game, he was never a force in his first stint with the UFC. But when he hooked up with his current striking coach Rafael Cordiero, he has become one of the most complete fighters in the sport.
Putting Up a Good Fight
The victory wasn’t easy though. Hunt, who took the fight on a three week notice, put up a good fight as his vaunted punching power seemed to affect Werdum in the first round. Werdum looked tentative in his striking although he continued to land kicks to Hunt’s body. On the other hand, Hunt was moving forward with reckless abandon and didn’t seem to mind Werdum’s punching power. That worked to his disadvantage later on as Werdum made the adjustments in round two to land that fight ending knee.
Waiting for Cain
Werdum now will wait for the full recovery of heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez who is recuperating from an MCL injury. The two will face each other to determine the unified UFC heavyweight champion. Werdum said that he would prefer that bout to be in Mexico City or Brazil.
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