UFC 90 Breakdown: The Main Card

Werdum vs. Santos

Oct 24, 2008
Photo by Sherdog.com

Fabricio Werdum
Fabricio Werdum vs. Junior dos Santos

Werdum Scouting Report
Ht/Wt: 6’4/231 lbs.
Age: 31
Hometown: Porto Alegre, Brazil
Fighting out of: Curitiba, Brazil
Record: 11-3-1

The stakes: An obvious showcase fight for Werdum, who is coming off career-making wins over Brandon Vera and Gabriel Gonzaga, this one could also turn into a trap fight for the jiu-jitsu specialist as the unheralded Dos Santos could easily put a major crimp in Werdum’s designs on the UFC heavyweight title. If Werdum plans on establishing himself as the division’s top contender once the present title situation sorts itself out, he needs to pile up wins like they’re going out of style.

The breakdown: When facing an unknown like Dos Santos, it’s wise to stick to your guns and not do anything that could potentially play to your opponent’s strengths. With that in mind, Werdum needs to get this fight to the mat in a hurry, where it’s a rare sight to see Werdum do anything but turn his opponents into pretzels. Not the sweet kind like you get at Cinnabon either; more like those tangled masses of bark the corner hot dog guy dreams of selling one day.

Dos Santos Scouting Report
Ht/Wt: 6’4/238 lbs.
Age: 24
Hometown: Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Fighting out of: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Record: 6-1

The stakes: One of the vaunted Black House team’s premier prospects, Dos Santos is a product of the same rough and tumble Brazilian MMA circuit that produced both his trainers and Werdum. At a time when the UFC heavyweight division is starving for new blood, Dos Santos has been handed a golden opportunity to announce the next generation of Black House and, perhaps, help the world understand that even though his nickname means “gypsy,” there is no truth to the rumors that his tears can cure your ills.

The breakdown: The rare heavyweight who physically matches up with Werdum, Dos Santos has the bulk to stave off Werdum’s slapstick takedowns. Plus, getting your head caved in by Anderson Silva on a regular basis must do wonders for your striking. We’ve all seen Werdum show striking that seems better suited to a Don Magic Juan documentary, and Dos Santos may be the one to take both Werdum’s money and honey.

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The bottom line: As much as the idea of Black House turning into a production line for top-tier Brazilian talent gets fans all in a tizzy, Dos Santos hasn’t been particularly impressive back in his homeland. Being thrust into the UFC spotlight certainly won’t help matters. Another overmatched prospect falls prey to the infamous UFC jitters, and we’re all left to wonder if the idea of a gypsy in the cage could get Borat to make an Octagon cameo.
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