After years of being known as a ground specialist, Fabricio Werdum is proving he's a fully rounded mixed martial artist. The Brazilian heavyweight dropped the durable American Mike Russow with a blistering uppercut before finishing him with ground strikes.
The fight took just 2:28, and afterward, Werdum moved his eye to current heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos.
"I know he's a champion, but I'm ready for him," he said.
Werdum was actually the man who first welcomed dos Santos to the octagon. At the time, no one had any idea just how good dos Santos was, and he surprised Werdum by knocking him out in just 81 seconds.
Since that time, Werdum has spent much of his time improving his own standup so he would not be outgunned in the future. In recent fights, the fruits of his labors have shown as he's added variety and power to his striking, and against Russow, it all came to a head with a stoppage win.
Russow (15-2, 1 no contest) had never before been knocked out.
"I'm training a lot of muay thai," he said. "I just want you to know how happy I'm feeling. It's really, really emotional for me"
It was the second straight win for Werdum since moving over from Strikeforce to the UFC. He's 16-5-1 overall.