Up until about one hour until showtime on pay-per-view (PPV), Walt Harris was getting pumped up to punch Mark Godbeer in the face tonight (Sat., Oct. 7, 2017) at UFC 216, which took place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. But then Derrick Lewis hurt his back and the world’s leading mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion asked “The Big Ticket” if he’d step up and fight a former Heavyweight world champion and the No. 2-ranked fighter in the division, Fabricio Werdum, on ridiculous short notice.
It was the opportunity of a lifetime in terms of Harris’ career, while it was a “high-risk, low-reward” match for Werdum. However, Werdum took all the risk out of the match almost immediately, tapping Harris with an armbar just 65 seconds into the first round.
Werdum opened the action with a high kick that missed, but then wasted no time getting the match on his terms: The canvas. And from that point forward, it was all academic for the greatest UFC Heavyweight Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist of all time. He quickly secured full mount and looked to sink in a rear-naked choke as Harris tried to scramble to his feet. Harris peeled off Werdum’s hand, but the former champ just pulled it straight back and forced a quick tap for an armbar finish.
It was pretty clear that Werdum had no plans to stand and trade with a heavy hitter like Harris. And it was probably identical to the gameplan that he had prepared for Lewis. Harris never had much of a chance, having trained for a striker in Godbeer. Nevertheless, good on him — and Werdum — for having the stones to agree to a fight on just three hours notice.
For complete UFC 216: “Ferguson vs. Lee” results, including play-by-play updates, click here.