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UFC 198 Expert Analysis With Jon Anik

Curitiba, Brazil is set to be the battleground for potentially the biggest UFC event in the country’s history on May 14. Though the card is absolutely loaded with talent and intrigue, the main event features Brazil’s own Fabricio Werdum defending his UFC Heavyweight title against Stipe Miocic.

Werdum vs Miocic has the potential to be one of the best fights of 2016 and it could very realistically go in either direction. With such a tight bout expected, we spoke to UFC commentator Jon Anik for his insights and breakdown of the heavyweight clash.

Anik's Take

“It's really exciting that Stipe Miocic is getting a heavyweight title shot and he certainly has earned it. I love that he can end the city of Cleveland, Ohio's championship drought (dates to 1964) before the NBA's Cavaliers do. And he's got a good chance to win the fight, evidenced by the fact that he's just a +130 dog right now against Fabricio Werdum (-160).

Miocic has put in the time. He has headlined four times for the UFC. I don't expect him to be fazed by the magnitude of this event but to dismiss the stadium stage or the championship setting as potential factors would probably be ignorant. Miocic has really started to show a killer instinct of late. He's not a mean guy outside the cage but is increasingly becoming one inside of it. He has great hands, sets an unheavyweight-like pace and can keep it over 25 minutes. His ground-and-pound is powerful and effective and Werdum would be wise to recognize that.

All of that said, Werdum is the champ for several reasons. He is a true mixed martial artist and perhaps the most well-rounded MMA heavyweight we have seen. His ground game is world-class. His striking has become a real weapon, his overall movement has improved, he's got an outstanding chin. His cardio has also been a focus during his run and current reign. He has a definite championship aura and confidence about him and a definite will to win. He feels a responsibility to defend the title and he should be buoyed by the stadium crowd in Brazil. I expect him to perform well.

It's really a fascinating fight between two truly elite heavyweights. I think it is competitive everywhere and don't believe Miocic will be overwhelmed on the ground. I just think Werdum is a tough guy to finish - only one guy has done it in his 26 pro fights. Think you're looking at an epic five-round title fight that could go either way.“

UFC 198: Fabricio Werdum vs Stipe Miocic

Odds as of May 4 at Bovada

  • Fabricio Werdum -160
  • Stipe Miocic +130