UFC 216 saw the return of Fabricio Werdum in front of a packed T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Originally scheduled to fight Derrick Lewis, Werdum had to take a last minute fight with Walt Harris after Lewis pulled out.
With Werdum ranked 2nd and Lewis ranked 6th in the heavyweight division, and both men had suffering losses in their previous outings, they had it all to fight for.
Lewis was full of praise for his opponent beforehand and reckoned the former champ was good enough to get his title back one day.
“I believe he still has the potential to be a champion,” Lewis said. “He’s a tough guy. He goes out there and fights. He pushes the fight to you. He’s real strong in jiu-jitsu and his conditioning. But to me, I don’t care. I’m just going to go out there and swing until hopefully, I hit something.”
Although a win over Werdum would boost his own chances of a future title shot, Lewis insisted that he is more interested in a fat pay cheque than a belt around his waist.
“I don’t care if I ever fight for the belt, just as long as they pay me good,” he said. “That’s all I really care about.”
Despite the fact that he lost his last fight to Alistair Overeem and another loss here would see him slip down the pecking order of heavyweights who are vying for a title shot, Weddum insisted that there was no pressure on him.
“I have zero, zero pressure for this fight,” the Brazilian said. “I lost my last fight by decision. The fans said I won the fight; I believe it, too.”
Beforehand, Werdum said that expected to win and put himself back on top of the heavyweight division.
“I think the next one is a title shot,” Werdum said. “I hope I get a very nice submission, and I go directly to a title shot, because Stipe Miocic hasn’t fought for a very long time, and it’s not good for the heavyweight division.”
Harris came in with a respectable 10-5 career record, however his last minute promotion to fight former heavyweight champion Werdum was a MASSIVE step up.
Unfortunately Harris was unable to pull off a massive upset.
Take a look at how it unfolded here:
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