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  • MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

    Brazilian Werdum wins at UFC Orlando

  • ORLANDO, Fla. — UFC President Dana White promised its most exciting fight card in company history at the Amway Center Saturday night and delivered.
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  • ORLANDO, Fla. — UFC President Dana White promised its most exciting fight card in company history at the Amway Center Saturday night and delivered.
    The appetizers were equally as satisfying as the main course event, a bruising five-round bout that ended with Brazilian heavyweight Fabricio Werdum as the victor and left Travis Browne with a broken hand and a possible broken rib.
    Werdum won by unanimous judges' decision. He will face heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez in Mexico at a date to be announced.
    "This was the best fight of my career. I trained so hard for this one. I worked hard on every part of my game. Boxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, everything. I knew how good Travis was and I wanted to show everyone that I'm ready for the title shot," Werdum said.
    White announced a sellout crowd of 17,000 fans and a $1.65 million box gate — the biggest Fox gate ever.
    "I'll come back next weekend," White said. "I'm sold (on Orlando)."
    Although the main event didn't start until around 9:40 p.m., that didn't stop fans from showing up at least six hours earlier to watch a strong pre-show card. All three bouts featured fighters with perfect records — and main card was highlighted by Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone.
    Cerrone, one of the UFC's most popular fighters, forced Edson Barboza into the night's only tapout with a rear-naked choke 3 minutes, 15 seconds into the first round of the main card lightweight bout. He also earned his 11th finish as a UFC/WEC lightweight to tie Nate Diaz for the most finishes in the combined history of the lightweight division.
    Popular women's bantamweight fighter Miesha Tate took her first UFC win since joining the organization last year with a 29-28 unanimous decision against Liz Carmouche.
    "It was a very tough fight," Tate said. "We both have such a strong fighting spirit and I knew neither one of us would quit. It took me a little bit to get going and then finally, in the third round, I really got my energy up and was able to do what I do best. It feels great to finally get this first UFC win."
    It was an equally big night for the four Florida fighters on the 26-man card, with all winning their respective bouts. Welterweight Thiago Alves, who returned from a two-year absence, and lightweight veteran Jorge Masvidal won their respective fights during the prelim rounds broadcast on Fox Sports 1.
    South Florida fighters and American Top Team teammates Mirsad Bektic and Yoel Romero represented the youngest and oldest fighters on the card at ages 23 and 36.
    Bektic made history in his UFC debut as the first fighter of Bosnian descent to win a bout in the organization's history. He survived three physical rounds — one during which he sustained two illegal knee kicks to the head that left him dazed — against Chas Skelly during a preshow featherweight fight. Bektic kept a spotless professional record at 8-0 and handed Skelly (11-1) his first loss.
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