On March 17th, at UFC Fight Night 127 in London, one of the worlds greatest heavyweights Fabricio Werdum faces off against Alexander Volkov. To commemorate the occasion I’m going to take you back to the five times the Brazilian has proven to the world he is one of the greatest heavyweights of all time.
5. Fabricio Werdum vs Brandon Vera
Werdum vs Vera was a pick’em fight at the time. Vera had a record of 8-1 and Werdum was trying to make a name for himself in the UFC. In the first round, Werdum got the fight to the floor and his skill in Brazilian jiu-jitsu took over. The 13 time BJJ medalist was able to do what he liked and Vera had no answers. Werdum worked his way to full mount where he was able to land some brutal ground and pound and the referee stepped in to stop him from smashing Vera’s skull into the canvas any further.
4. Fabricio Werdum vs Minotauro Nogueira
Having lost the first fight by decision in Pride, this fight would have played on the mind of Werdum since hearing the judges scorecards, and then June 8th, 2013 Werdum got his shot at redemption. This fight was like a war between two of the biggest and best heavyweights in their prime. With both fighters highly decorated jiu-jitsu players, this fight was always going to be fun to watch for the fans of high calibre ground game. It was in the second round that Werdum secured an armbar, which seemed physically impossible to escape, so it was Kings MMA man who reigned victorious in Brazil that night. Post fight with Jon Anik, Werdum said: “I was able to get onto his back and get the armbar to make him submit and that makes me very happy. I want the title shot to prove I am the best in the world.”
3. Fabricio Werdum vs Gabriel Gonzaga
UFC 80. After losing his octagon debut, Werdum needed an impressive performance, and he sure delivered. Gonzaga was a tough opponent and had a thing for slaying giants and he showed just that by knocking out Mirko Cro Cop just nine months prior. But the grappling mastermind had the upper hand, Werdum was able to take control of the fight and finish Gonzaga in the second round via TKO.
2. Fabricio Werdum vs Fedor Emelianenko
On a two-fight win streak, Strikeforce gifted Werdum the fight every heavyweight on the globe feared. Fedor was 31-1 and at heavyweight that’s a record everyone in the world can appreciate. Fedor’s lightning fast fists dropped Werdum early in the fight, Fedor jumped on the Brazilian to try and end the fight but fell into a triangle choke that Werdum was not letting go of. Fedors 28 fight win streak was over as Werdum cemented himself in heavyweight history.
1. Fabricio Werdum vs Mark Hunt
In a fight where the UFC Interim heavyweight belt was on the line, Werdum pulled out the best performance of his career. I chose this fight as number one, as despite Werdum having a clear advantage on the floor he was unable to take the fight to canvas so he had to fight Hunt’s fight. Werdum was very cautious of Hunt and he had every reason to be. Hunt is known for punching his opponents heads off and he was looking to do just that to the 40 year old. In the second round, Werdum landed a flying knee that connected with Hunts chin perfectly, the New Zealander dropped like a wet fish and Werdum finished the fight by pouncing on his opponent and landing a few final blows.
Fights with Cain Velasquez, Alistair Overeem and Mike Russow all very nearly made the list, and I 100% recommend you go back to watch them if you haven’t already.
Werdum is on a two-fight win streak and a victory over Volkov will surely put him back in title contention. I would love to see Werdum fight for the title again, whether it be against Stipe Miocic or Daniel Cormier is still yet to be decided, but one thing is for certain, Werdum is one entertaining heavyweight and a worthy UFC champion.