After back to back KO’s against UFC heavyweight stalwarts Gabriel Gonzaga and Brandon Vera, Fabricio Werdum appeared to be in line for a title shot – that was before the return of Randy Couture.
With Couture back in the fold the UFC has developed what President Dana White has described as a kind of heavyweight tournament to determine the UFC’s true heavyweight champion.
The UFC’s heavyweight picture is a bit clouded as the result of their drawn out legal battle with champion Randy Couture. Couture left the UFC last year in an attempt to get out of his contract in order to face consensus number one heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko. But when the legal battle continued to drag on with no resolution in sight, the 45-year old Couture decided that it was time to return to the octagon.
“I prefer to fight in the ring, not in a court room,” said Couture.
In Couture’s absence however, the UFC was forced to crown an interim champion; with Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera besting former UFC champion Tim Sylvia for the belt.
Now the UFC has two champions where there can be only one. To solve the issue, White set up two fights; one between champion Randy Couture and contender Brock Lesnar, and the other between interim champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and contender Frank Mir. Werdum is on the outside looking in.
“Ultimate thinks about business,” a frustrated Werdum told Tatame. “Lesnar is more famous in United States. I don’t know how they’ll do it, because my new contract guarantees a title shot with a victory against Cigano”.
Junior Cigano is Werdum’s opponent at UFC 90 in Illinois.
“They should have put Cigano, who is a newcomer in the event, to face Lesnar, who only has one fight in UFC,” Werdum continued. “But that’s OK, I’ll win quickly my next fight and my time will come. Nogueira will certainly defeat Frank Mir and Couture will beat Lesnar. The “big” Lesnar won’t make it, Couture will use a good strategy to get him tired and will win on the last round. I can’t see him winning, Couture has a lot more experience and Lesnar is like a white-belt in there.”