Nelson finished Cro Cop, who retired from MMA competition after the fight, in the 3rd round due to strikes. Nelson came in looking slimmer then what fans had come to see from Nelson, realizing he needed to get into better shape to compete in the UFC’s Heavyweight division. Prior to the win, Nelson had dropped two straight fights inside the UFC, receiving heavy criticism from Dana White about his conditioning in the Frank Mir bout at UFC 130.
With Zuffa deciding to move the Strikeforce Heavyweight division into the UFC, much like they with the higher WEC weight classes, Nelson got the call to welcome back Werdum into the UFC.
Werdum last made his appearance in the UFC when he took on the little known, at the time, Junior dos Santos, losing via KO after a quick uppercut just 1:21 seconds into the fight. Werdum was released after the fight and made his way to Strikeforce where he won three straight fights, including stopping Fedor Emelianenko’s 28-fight win streak, along with becoming the only man, at the time, to decisively defeat the long-time PRIDE Heavyweight champion, Fedor’s only MMA loss prior to the fight was due to a cut caused by an illegal elbow against Tsuyoshi Kohsakain the RINGS promotion.
Werdum dropped his first fight under the Strikeforce banner to current UFC Heavyweight #1 Contender, Alistair Overeem, in the quarter finals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.
While both fighters are BJJ Black Belts, Werdum has the better accolades in the grappling world winning the Mundials and ADDC, the two most prestigious grappling competitions in the world on two separate occasions. What can’t be denied is Nelson’s toughness and his one punch Knock out power that he posses in his right hand.
Both fighters have something to prove in this fight, with a win, both fighters could move up the rankings and a bit closer to a title shot in the UFC. This fight could be interesting wherever the fight may stay, with both fighters possessing excellent grappling skills, and having solid striking skills to back it up, fans should expect a great showing the Heavyweight division.
UFC 143 takes place this Saturday, February 4th, from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas Nevada.