(Werdum and Andrei Arlovski throw down at UFC 70.)
As the man responsible for de-hyping both Gabriel Gonzaga and Brandon Vera, Fabricio Werdum is riding high in the UFC’s heavyweight division. And to make sure he doesn’t slip away like Randy, Tim, and Andrei, the UFC has just locked him into a five-fight contract extension, with the promise of an immediate title shot if he wins his next fight. Sweetening the deal is the fact that his next fight might be a cakewalk for the well-seasoned and impossible to finish “Vai Cavalo” — he’ll compete at UFC 90 (October 25th, Chicago), possibly against Junior Dos Santos, a 6-1 vet of various Brazilian shows who’s probably not ready for the UFC yet.
Assuming he wins his next match, Werdum will then face either Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira or Frank Mir, who are expected to fight in late December. Werdum hopes Big Nog comes out victorious, telling Tatame:
“A fight against Minotauro would be like a dream. It would be great for me, because I fought against him at PRIDE and it was a great fight, he deserved the victory, and I want to say that I’m fighting for the belt against Minotauro, probably in March.”
Werdum is referring to his unanimous decision loss to Nogueira at PRIDE Critical Countdown Absolute in July 2006. Following that fight, Werdum choked out Aleksander Emelianenko then moved to the UFC where he lost another unanimous decision to Andrei Arlovski before knocking off Gonzaga and Vera.
Related: Heavyweight Power Rankings