Well, it looks like Dana White had his fingers crossed when he promised everyone this week that there wouldn’t be any more Strikeforce fighters heading to the UFC.
MMAWeekly is reporting that Fabricio Werdum (14-5-1) will be returning to the Octagon for the first time since being knocked out at UFC 90 by current UFC heavyweight kingpin Junior dos Santos when he takes on Roy Nelson (16-6) at UFC 143 February 4 in Las Vegas.
Since being dropped by the UFC, “Vai Cavalo” has had an impressive run, including wins over highly-regarded heavyweights Antonio Silva and Fedor Emelianenko including a surprise triangle submission upset over “The Last Emperor” back in June 2010. He dropped a lackluster decision to then-Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem in his last outing in June that elicited boos aimed at both fighters from the displeased crowd. A multiple-time ADCC champion, Werdum’s strength is his ground game, having notched eight of his 14 wins by submission. He originally lobbied for a UFC bout with Brendan Schaub, but he got an upgrade in the form of “Big Country.”
Nelson’s forte is his striking game, with nine of his 16 wins coming by knockout, but he’s no slouch on the ground either. A 2003 Grappler’s Quest champ, Roy has never been submitted in his 22 fights. It will be interesting to see how his grappling matches up against a fellow Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt of Werdum’s caliber.
February 4, 2012
MGM Grand Garden Arena
Las Vegas, Nevada
Interim Welterweight Championship Bout
Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit
Fabricio Werdum vs. Roy Nelson
Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce
Rafael Natal vs. Michael Kuiper
Scott Jorgensen vs. Renan Barão
Erik Koch vs. Dustin Poirier
Alex Caceres vs. Edwin Figueroa
Jorge Lopez vs. Amir Sadollah