Fight Preview: Velasquez vs Browne
Cain Velasquez was on top of the world. He hadn’t lost a fight since 2011. Then, Fabricio Werdum showed up. The rest is history, as Werdum submitted Velasquez and claimed the Heavyweight belt.
Some blame ring rust, some blame cardio, some blame altitude (the fight was in Mexico City), some blame injuries. All of these are excuses. Point blank, Velasquez was the weaker fighter.
Now, he faces Ronda Rousey’s boyfriend, Travis Browne. The winner of this fight will most likely earn a title challenge and fight the winner of Miocic vs. Overeem.
Velasquez has a diverse arsenal of fight techniques. He’s primarily a wrestler, but don’t let that fool you. He’s a fantastic puncher. He’s trained in Muay Thai and BJJ.
Velasquez’ credentials are very impressive. He was an All-American wrestler at the best college in the country, ASU. That’s right. He’s a Sun Devil. He was the 2010 fighter of the year. He holds the most KO’s in Heavyweight division history with nine. He also KO’d Brock Lesnar, in what was a huge fight and the fight that really established him as the best Heavyweight fighter in the world at the time.
Velasquez is a very aggressive fighter, and he excels in the clinch. He loves to use the fence to his advantage, and I see that specifically as being a big problem for Browne. Cain has a good takedown game and throws hard-hitting punches at will. Once he gets you on the ground, you’re in trouble. Velasquez is relentless.
Browne, on the other hand, is just huge. He’s LeBron James but an inch smaller and ten pounds lighter (6’7, 240 lbs). For a big guy, Browne moves well. He almost always has a reach advantage over his opponents. He’s powerful, and he’s got quick hands.
I will say one thing, in that this fight will not end in a submission. So, for those of you who are bettors, Velasquez by TKO, KO, or Dec. is a good bet. And if that isn’t available, Velasquez by TKO or KO is still a solid bet.
Browne will have a two-inch reach advantage over Velasquez.
Browne is 33 but didn’t even start MMA training until he was 26. Since then, he’s learned techniques in Muay Thai, BJJ, Wrestling, Boxing, and even Judo (thanks, Ronda Rousey). Browne is a purple belt in BJJ while Velasquez is a black belt, so Cain has a clear advantage there.
Cain will also have to be weary of Browne’s illegal eye pokes. In Browne’s last fight, he won via TKO, but it was controversial because his opponent complained about Browne intentionally poking his eyes.
So, my prediction for this fight. In the first round, I expect Velasquez to come out strong, setting a physical tone and knocking down (but not out) Browne. In the second round, I think Velasquez continues his onslaught and KO’s Travis Browne. 2nd round KO is my prediction. Ha, what, you thought I was going to pick against a Sun Devil?
There are two fights that I just want to give quick predictions for. There isn’t enough “pizzazz” to write full pieces on them, so I’ll just give my predictions. I think Johnny Hendricks beats Kelvin Gastelum, and if I had to be specific, I’d predict a first round KO. Also, my gut says Cat Zingano defeats Julianna Pena, but I think Pena has a good shot to beat Zingano, so I’ll take the underdog and roll with her, and specifically I’d say 2nd round TKO.