The UFC is reportedly planning a heavyweight title eliminator for this spring, but before that happens, one of the contenders has to sign a new contract.
Travis Browne (15-1-1 MMA, 6-1-1 UFC), who beat Josh Barnett to earn a No. 1 contender bout, is currently negotiating a new deal with the promotion so he can fight Fabricio Werdum (17-5-1 MMA, 5-2 UFC), his manager today told MMAjunkie.
“There’s no deal done between the UFC and Travis Browne right now, but all the talks that have been had up to this point indicate that we will be getting something done in the very near future, and they’ve always been fair with Travis,” said John Fosco of VFD Marketing, who’s represented the fighter since 2010.
Browne knocked out Barnett with vicious elbows at this past month’s UFC 168 event. Prior to the bout, the UFC confirmed that the winner would fight Werdum, who previously was designated the No. 1 contender before champion Cain Velasquez (13-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) was benched with a shoulder injury.
Werdum today told MMAFighting.com that the title eliminator would be a five-round headliner and is targeted for March, so time is of the essence for the Browne camp.
“The UFC would like the deal done yesterday,” said Fosco, who added Browne “wants to be a UFC champion” when asked whether he was free to entertain offers from other promotions.
Werdum said he has trained with Browne and implied the knockout artist would struggle if they hit the ground.