Fabricio Werdum is the former UFC heavyweight champion and the former UFC interim heavyweight champion in addition to being a veteran of Pride and Strikeforce.
Defeating The Last Emperor And The Road Back To The UFCEdit
He most recently faced off against top P4P fighter and fellow Pride veteran Fedor Emelianenko in Strikeforce, defeating Emelianenko for his first decisive loss with a triangle choke early in the first round in a massive upset. He was set to either face Emelianenko in an immediate rematch or Alistair Overeem for the Strikeforce heavyweight title.
Instead, Werdum decided to take the rest of 2010 off because of nagging injuries. He was set to return at the start of 2011 to participate in the Strikeforce heavyweight tournament against Brett Rogers. Instead, he rematched champion Overeem in the quarterfinals. Overeem defeated Werdum via a decision after a rather lackluster fight.
Second Title Run In The UFC: Road To The TitleEdit
Werdum was next involved in talks to return to the UFC against TUF veteran and former NFL player Brendan Schaub. Instead, he next returned to the UFC against Ultimate Fighter winner and former IFL heavyweight champion Roy Nelson. Werdum defeated Nelson via a very impressive unanimous decision, showcasing his ever-improving striking skills and making a triumphant return to the Octagon.
Werdum next faced Chicago cop Mike Russow, defeating Russow via an impressive and decisive first round technical knockout. Many analysts argued that Werdum was one big win away from a title shot.
Werdum was next announced to coach the second season of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil against former Pride and UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. At the end of the season Werdum fought Nogueira in a rematch of their Pride bout in 2006 defeating the veteran via second round armbar submission, the first time Nogueira had tapped to a submission in his long and storied career.
After Cain Velasquez defeated Junior Dos Santos at UFC 166 in October 2013, Werdum received the next shot against the UFC heavyweight champion Velasquez. He stated that with a victory over Velasquez he would retire from the sport as he would have everything he had wanted in MMA.
The fight was confirmed in November 2013 for UFC 172, the UFC's debut event in Cain's "native" Mexico. Unfortunately an injury from the Dos Santos fight forced Velasquez to have shoulder surgery in December 2013. It went well but he would be out recovering until fall 2014 at the earliest.
Werdum was rumored then to be taking on the winner of the fight between Josh Barnett and Travis Browne for either an interim heavyweight title or a shot at the title. Werdum did end up fighting Browne in April 2014.
The first round was close until Browne broke his hand on Werdum's skull; afterwards that fact along with Werdum's improved striking led to Werdum dominating the final four rounds, breaking Browne's ribs and his nose. Werdum was awarded the unanimous decision and the title shot.
UFC Heavyweight Title ShotEdit
Werdum was next set to fight UFC champ Cain Velasquez in the UFC's actual debut event in Cain's "native" Mexico, UFC 180. Velasquez was injured shortly before the fight and replaced by fellow Pride veteran Mark Hunt; the fight would now be for the UFC interim heavyweight title.
Werdum knocked Hunt out in the second round to earn the interim title.
He next fought Velasquez in Mexico to unify the two titles, putting on the performance of his career en route to defeating a winded and battered Velasquez via a third round guillotine choke submission. Werdum was now the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion.
The Champion, Albeit Briefly Edit
Werdum was next forced to be sidelined as he waited for Velasquez to be gifted an immediate rematch. The fight was finally scheduled for February 2016, nearly a year after the first fight. Velasquez was soon injured and replaced by Stipe Miocic. Unfortunately Werdum himself pulled out with an injury and the fight with Miocic was rescheduled for spring 2016.
Werdum knocked out an overconfident Werdum in the first round to take Werdum's UFC heavyweight title from him without a single defense.
After the Title Edit
Werdum wasted little time in signing to face Ben Rothwell.
- Fabricio Werdum vs. Roman Zentsov - Werdum came into the fight undefeated. The fight was Roman Zentsov's Pride debut.
- Sergei Kharitonov vs. Fabricio Werdum - The fight was Werdum's first loss.
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Fabricio Werdum - The fight was in the quarterfinals of the Pride 2006 Openweight Grand Prix.
- Fabricio Werdum vs. Aleksander Emelianenko
- Andrei Arlovski vs. Fabricio Werdum - The fight was the UFC debut of Werdum.
- Fabricio Werdum vs. Brandon Vera - The fight and its controversial ending via referee stoppage was Brandon Vera's last fight as a heavyweight. He realized that he was too small for the heavyweight division after the fight and he wanted to go down to the lighter division.
- Fabricio Werdum vs. Junior Dos Santos - The fight was Junior Dos Santos's UFC debut and after the fight, Werdum was cut from the UFC.
- Fabricio Werdum vs. Mike Kyle - The fight was Werdum's Strikeforce debut.
- Fabricio Werdum vs. Antonio Silva - The fight was Antonio Silva's Strikeforce debut and it was only his second loss.
- Fedor Emelianenko vs. Fabricio Werdum - The fight was Fedor Emelianenko's first decisive loss. The fight was a massive upset.
- Fabricio Werdum vs. Roy Nelson - The fight was Werdum's return to the UFC for the first time since 2008.
- Fabricio Werdum vs. Mike Russow
- Fabricio Werdum vs. Mark Hunt - The fight was for the fifth UFC heavyweight interim title.
- Stipe Miocic vs. Fabricio Werdum - The fight was for the UFC heavyweight title with Werdum defending.