After UFC 168 Win, Browne Believes “I Have The Best Pedigree Right Now” Besides Velasquez and dos Santos
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although Travis Browne has been a rising force in the UFC for sometime now, the 31 year-old hadn’t become one of the promotion’s biggestnames just yet, despite his impressive run. That might have changed Saturday night, however, at UFC 168. Not only did Browne decimate one of the sport’s most accomplished heavyweights in Josh Barnett, but he did so at one of the UFC’s largest cards to date.
With the win, “Hapa” has locked up a fight with the promotion’s #2 ranked heavyweight Fabricio Werdum, to determine who will challenge champion Cain Velasquez next. It’s an opportunity Browne has secured thanks to a 7-1-1 record in the UFC.
“Am I the best? Obviously not. There’s Werdum ahead of me, there’s Cain ahead of him and I’m just working my way up the ladder,” Browne relayed in a post fight interview with UFC.com. “Those guys are better than me right now. I have to get back in the gym and work on my game and continue to progress in this sport.”
“I’m happy to be fighting top competition. Out of the sport, besides maybe Junior (dos Santos) and Cain, I think I have the best pedigree right now, knocking off some of the toughest fighters. This is my path.”
While some might argue that Browne hasn’t faced a top tier wrestler like Velasquez, it’s hard to argue that his skill set and abilities don’t match or surpass many of the promotion’s contenders. Not only has Browne showcased vicious stopping power, but the 6’7 fighter’s reach, length and impressive agility present dangerous challenges to any opponent. Thus, this is likely why Barnett elected to shoot in for a takedown, not long into their bout Saturday night.
“We knew he was going to try to come in and grab me, and it’s exactly what he did,” said Browne, who has scored KO wins over Gabriel Gonzaga, Alistair Overeem and now Barnett in his last three bouts. “People really underestimate my entire game. They look at me as a striker, I finish people standing up and in the clinch and stuff, but I have a complete game.”
“I felt quick and I felt fast in there. I don’t know if he was a little slower,” the Jackson’s MMA fighter relayed to FOX Sports 1 after the bout. “A lot of people underestimate me in my grappling. I almost took him down. I think it’s that killer instinct people talk about. I’ve always had that. I see something and I go for it.”
Recently the UFC confirmed that the promotion was moving ahead with a title shot eliminator, since Velasquez will be sidelined for multiple months, as result of recent shoulder surgery. Before the extent of the champion’s shoulder injury was known, the organization had already tapped Werdum as his next challenge. It will be interesting to see how Werdum approaches Browne, considering the Hawaiian’s skills and size.
“I’m ready. Every time I fight, I’m honored. It’s not a street fight,” Browne noted about Werdum, who has added and developed a solid striking game to compliment his renowned ground skills. “I don’t have to hate you to fight you. I have a lot of honor and when I beat you I tried to represent that.”