Fabricio Werdum vs Roy Nelson Targeted For UFC 143Strikeforce heavyweight contender Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum is likely to make his return to the Octagon at UFC 143 on February 4th in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace is expected to face Roy “Big Country” Nelson on the card. MMAWeekly.com first reported the bout earlier today.

Werdum won three of his four Strikeforce fights after departing the UFC in late 2008. His most notable victory during that time came in the form of a shocking submission of Fedor Emelianenko in June 2010. Nelson has won three of five UFC fights and stopped Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipović in October.

Werdum (14-5-1) debuted in the UFC in 2007, but faced criticism after a lacklustre defeat against former UFC champion Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski. He earned stoppage victories in each of his next two fights, however, and looked to be on the brink of title contention until he was upset by future champion Junior “Cigano” dos Santos. Following the loss, Werdum signed with Strikeforce. He won twice in 2009, but is best known for submitting Emelianenko in 69 seconds. Most recently, Werdum dropped an uninspiring decision to rival Alistar Overeem in a Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix bout.

Nelson (16-6-0) became known to UFC fans after winning season ten of The Ultimate Fighter in 2009. The former IFL Heavyweight Champion stopped Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub and Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve in his first two UFC fights, but suffered tough decision losses to Junior dos Santos and Frank Mir in subsequent bouts. With some speculating that Nelson could be one loss away from receiving his walking papers, he dedicated himself to a new training regimen and stopped Filipović at UFC 137.

To date, Werdum has finished 12 of his opponents, while Nelson owns 14 stoppage wins. Each has only been stopped one time as a pro. The pair will face off in a bout that could prove to be pivotal in determining a future title contender.

UFC 143: “Diaz vs Condit” takes place on February 4, 2012 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event features a UFC Interim Welterweight Championship bout between Nick Diaz and “The Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit.



(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)