Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) fights Travis Browne (blue gloves) before their heavyweight fight during UFC on FOX 11 at Amway Center. Photo by David Manning-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
Brazilian fighter Fabricio Werdum out-fought Travis Browne over five rounds to become the top contender for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight title Saturday at the Amway Center in Orlando (Sunday in Manila).
Werdum beat Browne with scores of 49-46, 50-45, and 50-45, in the process earning a shot at UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez later this year.
Browne opened the bout with a high kick to the head of Werdum but missed, and it was the Brazilian who proved to be the busier and more accurate fighter, landing a kick to the midsection as well as several punches to end the opening round.
Werdum also managed to take down Browne in the second round and attempted a submission. Although Browne managed to escape, he was clearly feeling the effects of Werdum’s attacks as well as the fast pace of the fight.
Despite Browne’s best efforts in the final three rounds, Werdum kept landing significant shots, causing Browne’s face to be a crimson mask by the time the bout ended.
In the co-main event, former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate defeated Liz Carmouche via unanimous decision to claim her first win in the UFC.
Tate improved to 14-5 after the judges scored the bout 29-28 across the board in her favor.
A takedown and a choke attempt in the final round proved to be the difference maker for Tate, who had lost her first two UFC contests.
Meanwhile, “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone won Submission of the Night honors after forcing Brazilian Edson Barboza to tap out via rear naked choke in the first round of their bout.
Barboza was landing the heavier blows on Cerrone when a brutal jab dropped the Brazilian to the canvas. “Cowboy” immediately took advantage, taking Barboza’s back and locking in a choke.