The UFC 147 card scheduled for Brazil this weekend has certainly lost some of it’s star power. Alongside headliners Vanderlei Silva and Rich Franklin, it is probably Brazilian Fabrizio Werdum who has the most name recognition world wide. As a consequence, Wedum is a heavy -475 favorite over his opponent, Mike Russow, who has a +325 comeback. But Russow is a game fighter, and there may be some value in taking a look at him at that price.
Werdum is a professional of an extremely high skill level. He is also big and long, and it makes his Jiu-Jitsu very dangerous as a heavyweight, just ask Fedor. The home field won’t be that big an advantage, as Werdum lived in Europe for a long time when he was emerging, and likely does not have a fervent fan base in Brazil.
Despite this, Werdum needs to win and begin establishing himself in the UFC again. He recently beat Roy Nelson, and is 4-1 against top level competition in his last few outings.
This is a major step up in competition. With all due respect Damien Decorah, Nate Schroeder and Jason Guida are midwest fighters who are not UFC caliber, and Werdum is easily the highest skill guy he has faced.
But Russow really has to avoid a submission in this fight. Though Werdum showed a lot of improvement striking with Nelson, Russow is of the Nelson variety when it comes to taking punishment. Russow just needs to avoid playing the JJ game with Werdum, and his size and ruggedness and overall aggression could carry the day where Nelson could not.
Another thing about Werdum’s home field advantage is that even a trip to hostile Brazil really won’t raise this guy’s blood pressure. He is a law enforcement officer in real life, and is known for being the first guy to break the door down on very hostile, life and death raids.
I invite you to read my previous post about betting Mike Russow at http://blog.betdsi.com/ufc-bettors-choice-mike-russow-returns-to-ufc-147/.