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UFC 198: Why Werdum Beats Miocic

Fabricio Werdum is set to defend his undisputed UFC Heavyweight title for the first time in front of his home crown in Curitiba, Brazil at UFC 198. Werdum will face Stipe Miocic who is coming off two consecutive stoppage finishes including a 0:54 victory against Andrei Arlovski.

Despite facing a stellar boxer and finisher, I fully expect Fabricio Werdum to defend his belt at UFC 198. And if you need any convincing, here is why I think we will end the show hearing "And still."

Severely Underrated Striking Game

The striking game was a long-standing hole in Werdum’s game, but that has changed thanks to Rafael Cordeiro. Since joining King’s MMA roughly eight years ago, Werdum has seen his striking game improve by leaps and bounds.

‘Vai Cavalo’ has a varied striking attack that has evolved into a deadly combination of kickboxing and Muay Thai. Werdum will have the ability to use a varied, leg-based striking attack against Miocic knowing that his opponent is largely a boxer in the standup game.

As long as Werdum can keep circling and not move in a straight line he should — to the shock of many — win the striking exchanges. However, we have seen Werdum fight too straight line-ish, which would play right into Miocic’s counter heavy boxing technique.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Excellence

Werdum is one of the best — if not the best — submission fighters in the history of the heavyweight division. 50 percent of his career victories have come via submission and several others can be linked to his opponent’s immense respect for his talents on the ground.

Knowing that his ground game is far superior, Werdum will be able to use his leg kicks frequently without any legitimate concern about being taken down because he will have such an advantage from guard.

Home Field Advantage

This is not something that can be easily quantified like the previous two points, but Werdum will have added motivation fighting in front of his home country. Werdum is a perfect 4-0 when fighting in Brazil, including 2-0 with the UFC.

There has been talk swirling that Brazilian MMA is starting to fall off. Werdum, who already has a supreme amount of confidence in his ability, will take these rumblings and use it as added motivation to prove that that his homeland is still one of the best MMA breeding grounds on the planet.

Just look at last week’s UFC card in Rotterdam. All three Dutch fighters on the card won via T/KO with the crowd going absolutely insane.

UFC 198: Fabricio Werdum vs Stipe Miocic

Odds as of May 10 at Bovada

  • Fabricio Werdum -160
  • Stipe Miocic +130

Joe Osborne and I don't see eye to eye. He thinks Miocic wins the belt and here's why.