After much speculation Fabricio Werdum will in fact be returning to the Octagon in 2012. Prior to the news that the heavyweight division in Strikeforce would disband in 2012 the rumors of Werdum’s return were being heard. That move is now official and the first man to submit Fedor will be taking on the new-look Roy Nelson at UFC 143.
Both fighters confirmed the news via twitter yesterday, Nelson actually tweeting “UFC 143 Fabricio Werdum vs. Roy Nelson”. UFC 143 is on February 4th (Superbowl weekend) in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Werdum (14-5-1) was released from the UFC in late 2009 following a first round knockout loss against Junior Dos Santos, who was making his promotional debut. He moved onto Strikeforce where he posted a 3-1 record that was highlighted by his first round submission of Fedor Emelianenko in June of 2010. His lone defeat came in his last bout against Alistair Overeem in the opening round of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix.
Nelson (16-6) snapped a two fight losing streak at UFC 137 when he defeated Mirko Cro Cop by third round TKO. “Big Country” came into that fight substantially leaner than in the past and grabbed a much-needed win.
The latest UFC 143 card features:
170 lbs.: Carlos Condit vs. Nick Diaz (for interim welterweight title)
170 lbs.: Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce
265 lbs.: Roy Nelson vs. Fabricio Werdum
135 lbs.: Renan Barao vs. Scott Jorgensen
145 lbs.: Ricardo Lamas vs. Dustin Poirier
135 lbs.: Alex Caceres vs. Edwin Figueroa
170 lbs.: Jorge Lopez vs. Amir Sadollah
185 lbs.: Rafael Natal vs. Michael Kuiper