Whether Fabrico Werdum remains the UFC heavyweight champion after UFC 198 remains a big question, as his challenger, Stipe Miocic, isn't expected to give the Brazilian any easy time inside the octagon. The two juggernauts square off in the main event of the UFC PPV (pay-per-view) at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil, on Saturday.
Werdum, 38, defeated Cain Velasquez in the main event of UFC 188 in Mexico with a perfect guillotine choke submission last June to win the unified UFC heavyweight championship. Going into his first title defence in the UFC, Werdum, who has a spectacular ground game, weighed 240 pounds in the weigh-in.
The challenger, Miocic, weighed a pound higher.
Miocic, 33, meanwhile, is coming off a stunning KO/TKO win over Andrei Arlovski in UFC 195 this January. He has a total of 11 of 14 wins via knockout and the American fighter's speed remains the major talking point.
The two veterans had a show of respect during the staredown ahead of the fight. Check it out:
The co-main event of the PPV features another classic battle in the middleweight division with the veteran Vitor Belfort taking on another star, Ronaldo Souza. It was unfortunate to see Anderson Silva pull out of the fight card just days prior to the event owing to an inflamation of the gallbladder, but now that disappointment of not being able to Silva at home after a long time, has been covered up.
Apart from Silva, Belfort and Ronaldo are seen as the finest MMA superstars Brazil have ever produced.
The fight card also marks the debut of Cris Cyborg in the UFC. Referred to as one of the greatest female MMA fighters from Brazil, Cyborg, 30, who has held the Invicta FC and the Strikeforce World championship titles, takes on America's Leslie Smith in a Catchweight bout (140 lbs).
UFC President Dana White had stated that the event could turn out to be one of the greatest UFC events to be held in Brazil, according to the Daily Mail, and he was expecting a live audience of 45,000 fans, which could also make it the biggest show in Brazilian combat sports history.
Where to watch LIVE (Main Card)
UFC 198: Fabricio Werdum vs Stipe Miocic airs LIVE from 10 p.m. EST / 7 p.m. PST (7:30 a.m. IST, 3 a.m. BST).
India - Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD.
US, Canada - PPV.
Brazil - Combate.
UK, Ireland - BT Sport 2.
Australia - Main Event.
New Zealand - Sky Sports Arena.