CLEVELAND -- More than two years ago, UFC heavyweight fighter Travis Browne entered The Octagon on a three-fight win streak and a winner in six of his last seven matches. However, Browne suffered a unanimous decision loss to Fabricio Werdum in a title-eliminator contest.
Since the setback to Werdum, Browne has alternated wins and losses, including a TKO setback to the returning Cain Velasquez in the first round of their bout at UFC 200 back in July. But tonight at UFC 203, Browne has an opportunity to not only right the ship, but also, get a measure of payback against Werdum at Quicken Loans Arena.
“I want to erase that fight from my memory you know, so the only way I know how to do that is to get back in there,” Browne said. “The opportunity presented itself, and I jumped up all over it. Four weeks, three weeks, two weeks, a couple days, it doesn’t matter. I’m ready to get back in there.
“The guy’s the No. 1 ranked contender right now. A win over him puts me right back in the talks for a title shot.”
Although Browne enters the fight confident in his skills and ability to get his career back on track, Werdum views tonight’s bout as the stepping stone to launch himself back into a heavyweight championship match against the winner of the Stipe Miocic-Alistair Overeem main event.
“After I beat Travis Browne, I want to sit very close to the cage to see my next opponent,” Werdum said. “I don’t know if it’s Stipe Miocic or Overeem.
“At this moment, I’m very happy, and I want to fight again. I told the UFC I wanted to fight soon because the last time, he got in one nice punch and I don’t have an excuse. My training was very good. Everything was okay. It was he just got in that one good punch. I’m very excited for the next one. I’m going to beat Travis Browne again, the same thing as last time, but this time, I want to finish him.”
Regardless of who wins between Miocic and Overeem, Werdum comes into this fight with Browne with one goal in mind, to reclaim the championship he lost in the main event of UFC 198 in Curitiba, Brazil, back in May.
“I just want the belt again. That’s it,” Werdum said. “My big goal is the belt. It doesn’t matter who it is.”