It’s been over two years since former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum stepped into the Octagon.
Since then, the landscape of title contenders has changed, with names like Curtis Blaydes and Jairzinho Rozenstruik pushing for their first shot at champion Stipe Miocic.
At UFC 249, which will be the UFC’s first event since the COVID-19 pandemic rattled the sports world, Werdum will be back in action against another veteran heavyweight in Aleksei Oleinik.
Werdum once was one of the best heavyweights in the world and this fight on May 9 gives him the opportunity to jump right back in the mix. Before he makes the walk on Saturday, look back at some of Werdum’s greatest hits and see why he was once the baddest man on the planet.
Watch the fight on UFC Fight Pass: https://ufcfightpass.com/video/31499
Fedor Emelianenko might be one of the greatest fighters of all-time. He is well respected and well decorated with a wide variety of skills. When Werdum took on Emelianenko, no one expected him to submit the legend. It was a launching pad for Werdum and showed the world just how talented he truly was.
Watch the fight on UFC Fight Pass: https://ufcfightpass.com/video/32325
When Werdum took care of business against Mike Russow at UFC 147, it became clear that the Werdum was ready for a step-up in competition. That step-up came in a main event spot against an old rival at the top of the heavyweight division in the form of Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira. Werdum passed that test with flying colors, submitting Big Nog by armbar, avenging his 2006 PRIDE defeat to the future UFC Hall of Famer.
Watch the fight on UFC Fight Pass: https://ufcfightpass.com/video/35828
After stringing together a four-fight win streak, Werdum had the opportunity to seize UFC gold at UFC 180. Standing across from him was another heavyweight star in Mark Hunt but Werdum would not be denied. It took just about everything - and the kitchen sink - but a devastating flying knee combined with punches finally forced Hunt to cover up before Herb Dean called an end to the fight.
Watch the fight on UFC Fight Pass: https://ufcfightpass.com/video/36825
Werdum earned the interim UFC heavyweight title by utilizing his athleticism and explosiveness. He showed the same qualities in his title unification bout with heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez, but it was Werdum’s slick submission game that would allow to him leave the Octagon with sole possession of the UFC heavyweight title. It was an incredible moment for Werdum, who extended his win streak to six in a row with the victory.
Watch Werdum make his return this Saturday, May 9 at 8pm ET/5pm PT on the UFC 249 prelims, which air on ESPN.