For many coaches and fighters, challenging for a world title is not only a career highlight, it is also a cause for a great deal of stress. The striking coach of #1 heavyweight contender Fabricio Werdum, Rafael Cordeiro, is calm and confident heading into his fighter's November title bout against champion Cain Velasquez, however.
"It’s going to be so cool," Cordeiro said in an interview with Guilherme Cruz.
"Fabricio has been training for this moment for years. Ever since he moved to the United States seven years ago, he developed a great stand-up game. He has a huge history in jiu-jitsu, and his muay thai is as good as his jiu-jitsu today."
The 36 year-old former Jiu Jitsu world champion has won four straight fights since returning to the UFC in 2012. His coach believes that the Brazilian is capable of ending the fight on the feet or on the ground, should the wrestler Velasquez take him down.
"Werdum has what it takes to submit or knock Cain Velasquez out," Cordeiro said.
November 15's UFC 180 heavyweight title fight will be the champion's first fight since a TKO win over Junior Dos Santos in October of 2013. Velasquez has had to undergo and recover from shoulder surgery.
Velasquez has dominated Dos Santos twice since losing to him quickly in their first fight, and "Cigano" owns a KO win over Werdum, way back in 2008. Despite that common opponent, Werdum's coach thinks that his fighter is a tougher fight for Velasquez, stylistically.
"‘Cigano’ has a completely different style. ‘Cigano’ is a boxer, but Werdum is a more complete fighter," Cordeiro claimed.
"He has a world-class jiu-jitsu, a good muay thai. It’s a dangerous match-up for Cain Velasquez. I’m not saying ‘Cigano’ is not good, but I think that Velasquez’s style is better for Werdum."
Do you think Werdum can beat Velasquez on the feet or the ground? Let us know in the comments section.