Fabricio Werdum will finally fight for the UFC title on Nov. 15, when he battles reigning champion Cain Velasquez at UFC 180 in Mexico City, and his head coach Rafael Cordeiro is confident that the jiu-jitsu specialist has what it takes to beat Velasquez standing or on the ground.
"It’s going to be so cool," Cordeiro told MMAFighting.com. "Fabricio has been training for this moment for years. Ever since he moved to the United States seven years ago, he developed a great stand-up game. He has a huge history in jiu-jitsu, and his muay thai is as good as his jiu-jitsu today."
"Werdum has what it takes to submit or knock Cain Vealsquez out," he added. "I don’t agree when people say Werdum shocked the world against Fedor. There’s no such thing in MMA. It’s a fight and both fighters are ready. I won’t be shocked when Werdum defeats Velasquez. I already expect that."
Werdum was expected to fight for the belt earlier this year, but the promotion changed plans when Velasquez was sidelined with an injury. Dana White decided to match Werdum against rising heavyweight prospect Travis Browne at UFC on FOX 11, and the outcome showed the Brazilian was ready for a title shot.
"We didn’t want the Travis Browne fight, but Dana said he had to fight again before the title fight. We took the fight, and Werdum proved he’s ready for anything," he said. "Travis is a tough fighter, bigger than Werdum, and Werdum showed he was superior. We showed in that fight that he’s ready for a title fight."
Velasquez hasn’t fought since a fifth-round TKO victory over former champion Junior dos Santos in October, but the fact that the champion was able to dominate (twice) the last man to beat Werdum inside the Octagon doesn’t mean much to Cordeiro.
"(Velasquez) is a good match-up for us," he said. "‘Cigano’ has a completely different style. ‘Cigano’ is a boxer, but Werdum is a more complete fighter. He has a world-class jiu-jitsu, a good muay thai. It’s a dangerous match-up for Cain Velasquez. I’m not saying ‘Cigano’ is not good, but I think that Velasquez’s style is better for Werdum.
"We know that Cain Velasquez main weapon is his cardio, and Fabricio showed how good his cardio is now, that he has a great ground game and good takedowns. He’s ready for everything. This is Werdum’s moment. He will be the UFC champion. I don’t see any result but the win."