Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as UFC 198 went down this past Saturday night (May 14, 2016) from inside Arena da Baixada soccer stadium in Curitiba, Brazil.
For complete coverage of the entire UFC 198: “Werdum vs. Miocic” card click here.
Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Leslie Smith, who was beat down by Cris Cyborg in the very first round of their 140-pound catchweight bout (highlights here). And Vitor Belfort, who was beaten to a bloody pulp by Ronaldo Souza in a matter of minutes in front of the hometown crowd (see it again here).
But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover now 48 hours removed from the show?
After winning the title over a year ago from Cain Velasquez at UFC 188 in Mexico, “Vai Cavalo” looked to put a stamp on his first-ever title defense against Stipe Miocic, a man he didn’t deem worthy enough to fight on a few days’ notice earlier this year.
It was perhaps a good choice for Fabricio to bow out of a potential fight against Miocic at UFC 196, because it meant he got to be the 265-pound kingpin for a few extra months.
That’s because “Vai Cavalo” was no match for Stipe’s power, suffering a devastating first-round knockout loss halfway through the opening frame of their headlining championship fight.
From the jump, it was apparent both men weren’t going to give an inch and neither was interested in taking it to the mat. After trading non-threatening blows for the first two minutes, Fabricio decided to put the pressure on the top title contender.
Miocic clipped “Vai Cavalo” with a well placed right hand — right to the kisser — which momentarily stunned the aggressive champion. Failing to learn from his mistakes, Werdum opted to continue forward, only to eat the same right hand a few seconds later from a backpedaling foe.
This time, however, it found the sweet spot, as Fabricio face-planted directly onto the canvas, only to eat one more unnecessary blow. And just like that… silence, as the near 45,000 Brazilian fans in attendance had to pick their jaws off the floor.
You could hear a pin drop it was so quiet.
The loss snapped Werdum’s six-fight win streak dating all the way back to 2012 when he began his second run with the ZUFFA-owned fight promotion.
Did Fabricio’s eagerness get the best of him? It seems so. But the Brazilian has never been one to take it easy. And now that his striking has improved, one can see why he was confident in going right after Stipe.
But as he’s shown before, Stipe’s power isn’t to be underestimated.
As for what’s next for Werdum, he’ll have to start racking up the wins before he gets his much-desired rematch against Stipe. And a fight against Andrei Arlovski, the man who spoiled his UFC debut way back at UFC 70 almost a decade ago, seems like a good fit.
Unless you have a better idea?