“Werdum has evolved a lot, he impressed in the few times he fought. He has evolved a lot. His ground game is the best in the heavyweight division, no question about it. He has what it takes to keep the belt for a good time, but he’s facing a tough opponent next. Miocic has that knockout punch. I was completely dizzy a few moments when we fought. He has that punch, and his stand-up is more complete and better than Werdum’s. I don’t see how… Werdum is excellent on the ground, but I don’t see him taking anyone down. If the fight stays standing, I see Miocic as the favorite. If it goes to the ground, it’s going to be fast. But I see Miocic as the favorite standing. Comparing their qualities, I don’t see Werdum taking him down, so it’s going to be a stand-up fight and Miocic has an advantage.”
-Junior dos Santos gives his assessment on the UFC 198 Heavyweight Championship fight between former opponent Fabricio Werdum and Stipe Miocic in an interview with MMAFighting.com.
Penick’s Analysis: The only problem with dos Santos’ assessment – and he’s uniquely qualified to offer one having been in the cage with both fighters – is that current champ Werdum is light years ahead of the man dos Santos took out almost eight years ago in his UFC debut. That’s especially true of Werdum’s striking game. Werdum just out-struck Cain Velasquez before submitting him to capture the title. He didn’t need to take that fight to the ground himself to score that win. Miocic’s striking game is absolutely dangerous, and it’s where he’s likely to have the most success, but Werdum’s improvement on the feet makes him more than capable of winning there as well.
[Junior dos Santos art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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