A source close to the Brazilian fighter said that Werdum, who was offered the winner of the upcoming fight between Josh Barnett and Travis Browne, will make a decision by next week regarding an opponent.
Werdum was coined by UFC President Dana White as the frontrunner for a shot at the heavyweight title, but shoulder surgery has sidelined Velasquez for the greater part of 2014. The extended recovery for the champion means Werdum must wait until at least the second half of the year to fight the heavyweight titleholder.
According to a report from Fox Sports Live, Werdum was offered the Barnett vs. Browne winner. A pairing with one of the two could mean Werdum gets a fight as early as March 2014.
Werdum returned to the UFC in early 2012, winning all three of his fights since coming back to the Octagon. In his last performance, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion submitted Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira by armbar, after coaching opposite the former Pride FC and interim UFC champ on TUF: Brazil 2.
Velasquez injured his shoulder in his victory over Junior dos Santos at UFC 166. As reported on MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday, the champ had successful surgery earlier this week on Tuesday.
Barnett and Brown are scheduled to meet on Dec. 28 at UFC 168.
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