UFC 198 Breakdown - Discipline Over Sloppiness

UFC 198 is one of the most enjoyable Pay-Per-Views I've seen this year. It was a night full of surprises, adrenaline, and fun. More importantly, the evening was full of excellent fights. Saturday's main event saw hometown hero Fabricio Werdum succumb to Stipe Miocic in a title bout. It was an insane night, and there's a lot to talk about. Let's get to it:

Going into this championship fight, we mostly knew where each guy would have an advantage. Fabricio Werdum, 2 time BJJ world champ, would dominate on the ground. Miocic’s technique, power and speed should give him the edge on the feet. But I did believe Werdum had all the necessary tools to retain his belt. That's why I was mesmerized by the bizarre game plan he decided to utilize.

As soon as the bout started, Werdum started to charge in with these aggressive, reckless blitzes. Leaving his chin out, he would throw four punches in a row while chasing Miocic. It was so strange to see Fabricio doing this. His career resurrection has been caused by patience and discipline, not sloppiness. Could have been because he wanted to push Stipe to the cage in order to clinch. Perhaps he just wanted to put on a show for his people. At the end of the day, his plan miserably failed.

Nevertheless, while the ending was atrocious, his tactic was relatively successful at first. Werdum was able to land some nice punches during the initial blitzes, even if Stipe's defense and angle cutting allowed him to escape the bigger shots. However, Miocic caught on to what the champion was trying to do, and that's when things enormously changed. During the fifth blitz, he was able to clip Fabricio with a right hand that briefly wobbled him. Instead of recovering and resetting, he went ahead and charged one final time. Once again, Stipe utilized his fantastic footwork to escape the punches, and he delivered a vicious right hand that put the Brazilian down. The loud cheers of 45,000 Curitibanos came to a sudden end, and a new champion was crowned.

You have to be happy for Stipe Miocic. During my UFC 198 preview article, I said "This guy is notably good at reading his opponents and using the right move, at the right time." That's exactly what he did here. Also, he broke a 52-year championship curse in Cleveland. It's time to celebrate, enjoy, and prepare for an eventually title fight against Alistair Overeem. As for Werdum, he will have to look back at the tape, recognize the mistakes in his game plan's application, and come back stronger than ever. I expect him to face JDS, Hunt, or the winner of the Velazquez vs. Brown fight.

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