On Hawaii’s “ninth island,” Honolulu native Travis Browne and 2nd-ranked Cain Velasquez made weight Friday on the eve of their UFC 200 Heavyweight showdown.
Browne (18-3-1 MMA, 9-3-1 UFC), who weighed-in at 244 lbs, 2.5 pounds heavier than his opponent, will look to get past the former heavyweight champion in hopes for a chance at the gold. The 33-year-old has juggled wins and losses through his last five UFC appearances. “Hapa” is coming off a third-round TKO victory against Matt Mitrione at UFC Fight Night 81 in January. In the latest UFC heavyweight rankings, Browne is ranked at No. 7.
According to KHON2 MMA Analyst Frank Trigg, Browne needs to be aware of Velasquez’s experience in order to stay on top.
“With him staying in the middle of the ring with Cain, not only will things not turn out well for him from the punching stand point, he can out punch Cain,” said Trigg. “The problem is once you’re in a slug-fest with Cain he’s taking you down. Now you have a whole new problem. You’re on your back with a guy either in half, if you always watch how Cain does it, he takes you down and ends up in half or all the way to the side.”
Trigg explained Browne will need to stray away from the heavy punches against Velasquez if he wants a chance at victory.
“With a guy like that on top of you that knows how to control you, who spent years and years with practice like collegiate wrestling, to hold you down and keep you on your back, he’s going to start pounding away at him,” said Trigg. “That’s very difficult for Travis to deal with. Travis can keep him on his feet but he has to be very, very careful about his punches because any hard heavy punch that lands and could potentially be a knockout punch, if Cain slips underneath it, he’s off balance. He’s on his back.”
Velasquez (13-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC) was the reigning champion for three years prior, until his most recent loss against Fabricio Werdum in June 2015 at UFC 188 that cost him the heavyweight belt. The former champion is ranked No. 3 going into the fight against Browne.
UFC 200 main card commences at 4 p.m. HT on pay-per-view on Saturday in Las Vegas inside the T-Mobile Center.