Fabricio Werdum made quick work of his short-notice opponent in Walt Harris by submitting him in 65 seconds at UFC 216.
In an amazing change of events leading up to UFC 216, Fabricio Werdum opted to step inside the UFC’s octagon with Walt Harris on just five hours notice.
Werdum’s original opponent, Derrick Lewis, withdrew from the fight in the hours leading up to the event in Las Vegas. Lewis reported that he was suffering from back pain and was unable to move.
While many thought that Fabricio Werdum would be left without an opponent for UFC 216, Walt Harris stepped up to the plate. Harris was originally booked to face Mark Godbeer in the UFC Fight Pass Prelims.
This was a courageous move from “The Big Ticket” Walt Harris to take this fight on late notice, it was also a considerable step up in competition for the heavyweight.
And it showed.
— UFC (@ufc) October 8, 2017
Walt Harris wanted to get a feeling for how Fabricio Werdum operates and maintained his distance for the first 30 seconds.
It didn’t take long for Werdum to take Harris down to the mat, though. Werdum snatched the lead right leg of Harris and dragged him to the canvas. From there, Werdum sneakily moved into full mount. The pressure was on Harris immediately and instead of remaining calm and composed, he panicked with the jiu-jitsu expert all over him and gave up his back to Werdum.
Werdum secured the ‘seatbelt’ grip and pulled Harris onto him. With the change in momentum, and Harris worrying about the incoming choke, Werdum showcased one of his most creative submissions to date by thrusting his body out to the left and trapping the left arm of “The Big Ticket”. Werdum ambushed Harris’ arm and then trapped his head with his legs to secure the armbar finish.
Harris looked up with one of the rarest expressions after a submission defeat. It wasn’t surprising, or unsuspected. In fact, it should have happened and it did.
Fabricio Werdum showed that he is truly a top-level heavyweight across any mixed martial arts organization. It also showed that the gap between the top contenders and the lower ranked fighters is just as large as we expected.
The fight itself didn’t last long but the creative submission finish by Werdum was excellent.
Fight rating: 50/100
Unfortunately for Werdum, the change of opponents means that this victory doesn’t help his case for a rematch with Stipe Miocic. Rather, it was more of a tune-up fight and he’ll be forced to get through one more contender yet.
We can’t judge Walt Harris from this fight. He’s clearly not at the level of a top ten or top five ranked fighter in the UFC. It was a mismatch, and we all knew that, but credit to “The Big Ticket” for taking this fight.