I was definitely surprised by Werdum at UFC 90. He looked out of shape at weigh-ins, and of course was knocked out by UFC newcomer Junior Dos Santos. But before that, he was considered an up-and-coming heavyweight. After dropping his UFC debut to Andrei Arlovski, he TKO'ed Vera and Gabriel Gonzaga for which he was paid a base of $80,000.
Brandon Vera has been the anointed one since he beat Frank Mir at UFC 65. Looking back, Mir was not at his best after getting in a car accident, so the win may not have meant as much as we thought when it happened. Vera then went onto lose in sluggish fights against Tim Sylvia and Werdum. He slimmed down for a fight against Keith Jardine at light heavyweight , but still looked lethargic in the loss. His base pay was $100,000 for the losses, $40,000 for the win over Mir.
Werdum supposedly was sent packing because his contract renegotiations fell apart. It's odd that he would try to renegotiate after losing, since he hardly had the upper hand. But if the UFC really needed to do some fat-trimming, wouldn't it have made more sense to cut Vera, who has lost three of his last four, seemed uncomfortable at his new weight and makes more money than Werdum?
I never understood Dana White's blind allegiance to Vera. He is an exciting fighter to watch when he wins, but that happens so rarely. Why didn't Werdum receive the same loyalty?
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- Fabricio Werdum
- Brandon Vera
- Junior Dos Santos
- Frank Mir