Werdum: ‘I already see myself winning this fight’

UFC heavyweight champion may have to put his title up against Stipe Miocic at UFC 198 on Saturday, but he already sees himself extending his reign as champion.

Werdum defeated Cain Velasquez via submission in the third round of their bout of UFC 188 in June last year to win the title.

The Brazilian was initially supposed to face Velasquez in a rematch at UFC Fight Night 82 on February 6, but Velasquez withdrew due to a back injury.

Miocic was named as Velasquez’s replacement, but Werdum does not see the 33-year-old as a threat and actually believes that he will be able to knock him out even though Miocic has not lost via knockout since September 2012.

“I already see myself winning this fight,” Werdum told Combate. “I see myself knocking Stipe out. But it all depends, we never know how it’s really going to be. But I do believe I’ll impose my gameplan and try to knock him out with a kick or something different.

“Or maybe I’ll catch him on the ground. I want to finish this fight as soon as possible. Of course I’ll be patient, I have five rounds to finish it and I’m aware of that. I know it’s not an easy fight, he earned his title shot. He has good boxing and wrestling, but I don’t see him as a complete fighter. On the ground, for instance, I can’t see him with his back on the ground and doing well. He lacks some things.”

Werdum is well aware of how good Miocic looked in his TKO wins over Mark Hunt and Andrei Arlovski and believes that he deserves to be getting a title shot.

“I also think he was awarded his shot. Of course he has two good victories, but he talked, too. He asked for it. He was smart, actually. I would do that, too,” he said. “In the heavyweight division you can get a title shot after two wins. It took me a little longer. When I came back to the UFC, I had to win five in a row. Sometimes reporters ask me who’s next and I always say it’s up to them, not me.”