WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Travis Browne won’t be fooled by Cain Velasquez’s last outing.
No, Velasquez didn’t look his best against Fabricio Werdum in losing the heavyweight title last year. And the Mexican-American star has missed a lot of time due to injury. But Browne believes that the man he’ll face at UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas is the best heavyweight fighter on the planet.
“Cain ran the division for years,” Browne said at a recent media lunch. “He’s arguably still the best heavyweight. There’s situations that came up in his last fight, altitude and stuff like that. He had to learn the hard way. But I feel like he’s right there. He’s still the toughest guy. So it means everything to me. To me, this is almost my title shot.”
Before the loss to Werdum, Velasquez had fallen just once before, to Junior dos Santos in 2011 when he went into the fight with a blown out knee. Most put Velasquez near the top of the pound-for-pound list for a long time. While he was the heavyweight champion, injuries aside, Velasquez was thought of as the baddest man on the planet.
It’s for all those reasons that Browne is relishing UFC 200. A win over Velasquez means as much as any other victory — maybe even as much as a win over Werdum. Velasquez was supposed to get a rematch against the Brazilian in February before yet another injury forced him out.
“Not only is it the guys that I’ve already beaten, but it’s who I’m beating now,” Browne said. “Cain being the No. 1 contender, how do you not mention me in the title fights?”
Browne (18-3-1) doesn’t think a win over Velasquez will put him in line for a title shot. Not yet. He, too, ….View full article
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