Fabricio Werdum expects five-round fight with Travis Browne in March

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Fabricio Werdum won’t sit and wait for Cain Velasquez. In fact, he’s already focused on a five-round battle with Travis Browne in March.

Coming off impressive wins since returning to the UFC, Werdum earned a shot at the UFC championship with a submission victory over former champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, but will need to fight once again while Velasquez recovers from a shoulder injury.

According to "Vai Cavalo", he will headline a UFC event against Browne in the fight that will determine the next contender in the heavyweight division.

"I had a meeting with Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta and told them I wanted to wait, but then I thought about it and saw that I would need to wait too much before my next fight," Werdum told MMAFighting.com. "You don’t remember what you don’t see."

"We don’t have a date 100 percent confirmed yet, but I believe it's going to be in March," he continued. "I already know that it’s going to be a main event, so it's a five-round fight. He doesn’t have a good cardio, so that’s good for me. He's explosive when the fight starts, tries to finish it quickly, with jumping stuff and knockouts, so I see a lot of openings to defeat him."

Browne scored three vicious knockouts in 2013, finishing Josh Barnett in 60 seconds to climb up the rankings, but Werdum already saw some ways to stop his incredible rise in the heavyweight division.

"Travis Browne has been doing great recently with three consecutive ‘Knockout of the Night’ bonuses, so it would be a great fight before a shot at the title," he said. "We have trained together a few times three years ago, and he knows how the training was. He knows that he doesn’t have a good ground game.

"He's not an expert on the ground, and I’m getting better and better in the striking area. I train with Rafael Cordeiro for seven years, so we’ll plan the right strategy to win."

Two of Browne's last wins were against grappling experts, so Werdum knows he can't make mistakes when trying to get "Hapa" to the ground.

"I won’t go there like (Gabriel) Gonzaga and Barnett did," he said. "Barnett looked desperate, he didn’t look like the veteran that he is. The clinch, the takedown, the body lock will eventually happen. I don’t need to shoot for a double leg. His takedown defense and elbows are really good, so I won’t make this mistake. We will fight on the ground eventually."

Werdum hasn’t fought since June, and believes that fighting a high-ranked, dangerous opponent in Browne will cement his status in the UFC.

"I want to show the UFC that I’m ready for the title," "Vai Cavalo" said. "This fight will help me to get busy and prove once for all that I’m ready for a shot at the UFC title. It was sad that Cain Velasquez got hurt and I won’t fight for the title now, but it is what it is. This is going to make me stronger."

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