Orlando, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Fabricio Werdum cemented his status as the UFC’s No. 1 heavyweight contender with a unanimous decision win over Travis Browne in Saturday’s UFC on Fox main event at Amway Center.
Werdum improved to 18-5-1 after judges scored the contest in his favor, 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46. Attendance for the event was 17,000.
Werdum has now won four in a row and is 6-1 since his UFC release in 2008. The 36-year-old’s only loss in that span came to Alistair Overeem via decision in June 2011.
The win likely will propel Werdum into a title fight against Cain Velasquez in Mexico later this year. Velasquez (13-1) is currently rehabbing a shoulder injury.
“I’m looking forward to fighting Cain Velasquez,” Werdum said. “That championship means everything in this sport and I’m excited to have the opportunity to show that I can win the title.”
A 2-to-1 betting favorite, Browne (16-2-1) looked lost for much of the fight, absorbing a total of 171 strikes throughout the five-round bout. Browne, who fell to 7-2-1 overall in the UFC, landed 77 in comparison.
“He might have a broken rib, which totally explains why he would gas out halfway through the first round,” UFC president Dana White said, also confirming that Browne broke his right hand.
“It’s a testament to how tough that guy is to try and fight five rounds with a broken rib. That totally makes sense now,” he added.
Meanwhile, Miesha Tate (14-5) overcame a sluggish start en route to a unanimous decision win over Liz Carmouche.
All three judges scored the bout 29-28, giving Tate her first UFC win. Carmouche dropped to 9-5, 1-3 in the UFC.
“It was very tough fight,” Tate said. “We both have such a strong fighting spirit and I knew neither one of us would quit.”
In other fights, Donald Cerrone (23-6) defeated Edzon Barboza (13-2) via first-round submission to extend his win streak to three and is now 10-3 overall in the Octagon.
Yoel Romero (8-1) earned his biggest win yet as a UFC middleweight via a unanimous decision triumph over fellow middleweight Brad Tavares (12-2).