Werdum, who has defeated an impressive array of fighters from Cain Velasquez (twice) to Fedor Emelianko, never seems to get his due. All he can do is keep winning.
Meanwhile for Miocic, he can’t wait to capitalize on his long-time coming title shot.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.
In case you missed the weigh-ins:
UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS (6:30PM ET/3:30PM PT)
RENATO MOICANO (9-0-1) VS ZUBAIRA TUKHUGOV (18-3-0)
Andrews: Tukhugov has a bit more UFC experience and prefers to strike, while Moicano tends to look for submissions. I think Tukugov scores enough points while avoiding the ground to eke out a decision win here.
Andrews Prediction: Zubaira Tukhugov via unanimous decision.
SERGIO MORAES (10-3-0) VS LUAN CHAGAS (14-1-0)
Andrews: Chagas is coming in on short notice and has an impressive finish record, but can he do it against a UFC-calibre opponent? He has nothing to lose, but the experiences of Moraes should see him through to another win.
Andrews Prediction: Sergio Moraes via TKO.
#10 ANTONIO ROGERIO NOGUEIRA (21-7-0) VS #11 PATRICK CUMMINS (8-3-0)
Andrews: Cummins will use his wrestling to earn the decision if he can’t hang with Nogueira on the feet. Both guys are coming off a loss, but Cummins has the experience of losing to Glover Teixeira by knockout. He should have learned a few things there to secure a win here.
Andrews Prediction: Patrick Cummins via unanimous decision.
TSN 5 PRELIMS (8PM ET/5PM PT)
#12 JOHN LINEKER (26-7-0) VS ROB FONT (12-1-0)
Andrews: Tough one to call. Lineker goes hard, but will he gas? I have to go with Font here, who seems to have the better gas tank. I think he will be prepared and will try to take the starch out of The Hands of Stone.
Andrews Prediction: Rob Font via unanimous decision.
FRANCISCO TRINALDO (19-4-0) VS YANCY MEDERIOS (12-3-0, 1NC)
Andrews: Mederios has the striking and footwork, Trinaldo the wrestling and power. I’m going with Trinaldo to use his grappling to barely stifle the strikes and footwork of Yancy.
Andrews Prediction: Francisco Trinaldo via split-decision.
THIAGO SANTOS (12-3-0) VS NATE MARQUARDT (37-15-2)
Andrews: Nate looked great in his last fight, but Santos is a boss and not just because he knocked out Steve Bosse. His striking is efficient and as long has he avoids the grappling of Nate, he should get the finish.
Andrews Prediction: Thiago Santos via TKO.
#6 DEMIAN MAIA (22-6-0) VS #8 MATT BROWN (22-13-0)
Andrews: Great fight. Maia will bring the fight to the ground, while Brown will use the clinch and striking to keep it on the feet or near the cage. I think Brown enforces his game plan in a three-round fight.
Andrews Prediction: Matt Brown via unanimous decision.
MAIN CARD (10PM ET/7PM PT)
WARLLEY ALVES (11-0-0) VS BRYAN BARBERENA (11-3-0)
Andrews: Barberena, who upset Sage Northcutt, faces another huge task here. Alves has looked great since TUF Brazil 3 and has two submissions in his last two fights. Have to go with Alves here.
Andrews Prediction: Warlley Alves via unanimous decision.
#8 MAURICIO RUA (23-10-0) VS #12 COREY ANDERSON (9-1-0)
Andrews: Rua hasn’t had a good fight in a long time. This is a perfect time for a vintage performance, but Anderson will simply take him to the mat and wear him out.
Andrews Prediction: Corey Anderson via unanimous decision.
CRIS CYBORG (15-1-0, 1NC) VS LESLIE SMITH (8-6-1)
Andrews: Smith looked like a death row prisoner on those Embedded videos. She is a tough fighter, but cannot withstand Cyborg’s power, and Cyborg is pretty good on the mat if the fight goes to the ground.
Andrews Prediction: Cris Cyborg via TKO.
#2 RONALDO SOUZA (22-4-0, 1NC) VS #3 VITOR BELFORT (25-11-0)
Andrews: Souza needs to get the fight to the ground, but can he? He couldn’t against Yoel Romero. His ability to make adjustments in the fight is his biggest weakness. I’m not sure if a post-TRT Belfort can finish like the one we saw dispatch Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson. Going with the upset here in The Phenom.
Andrews Prediction: Vitor belfort via TKO.
(C) FABRICIO WERDUM (20-5-1) VS STIPE MIOCIC (14-2-0)
Andrews: Werdum continues to add to his already impressive legacy. He needs to be mindful of Miocic’s standup and wrestling and get the fight to the ground, as usual. Werdum’s intelligence is his best weapon. If Miocic’s standup doesn’t work, what’s his plan B?
Andrews Prediction: Fabricio Werdum via submission.