The UFC has announced that Fabricio Werdum will be making his UFC debut early next year, taking on Roy Nelson at UFC 143 in February.
One of the heavyweight division’s most seasoned competitors and very best grapplers, Werdum owns notable victories over Gabriel Gonzaga (2x), John-Olav Einemo, Alistair Overeem, Alexander Emelianenko, Brandon Vera, Mike Kyle, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and Fedor Emelianenko. He has career losses to Sergei Kharitonov, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Andrei Arlovski, current UFC heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem. After racking up a three fight winning streak in Strikeforce that included a landmark win over Fedor Emelianenko, the submissions expert was beaten by Alistair Overeem in a lackluster decision during the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. He returns to the UFC for the first time since UFC 90 in 2008 where he was defeated by dos Santos.
Roy “Big Country” Nelson was a seasoned competitor himself when he won The Ultimate Fighter 10 by knocking out Brendan Schaub. The rotund Las Vegan picked up a consecutive knockout over Stefan Struve, but saw his momentum stalled after dropping two straight decisions to Junior dos Santos and Frank Mir. This past October at UFC 137, Nelson got back in the win column by defeating a very game Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic via third-round TKO.
UFC 143 goes down on February 4 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.