At UFC 143 against Roy Nelson, Werdum displayed some improved striking as he punished his opponent for 15 minutes, scoring the unanimous decision in Las Vegas.
Werdum worked the standing game before getting his opponent’s back on the ground. Nelson did well to bring the fight back to the feet, but it was there that Werdum landed several knees in the clinch, bloodying Nelson’s nose. Nelson got a punch in and Werdum fell to his back, but the Brazilian fighter nearly locked an armbar when Nelson followed in on the ground. Werdum won the round 10-9.
Werdum kept with a mixed set of strikes on the feet in the second round. Nelson kept the center of the octagon for a majority of the round, but it was Werdum who landed more, utilizing several low kicks to get the edge in points. Nelson backed Werdum up for a brief moment in the second round with a flurry, but it wasn’t enough to win the frame.
Werdum continued the striking edge in the final round. The most significant strike was a beautifully executed front kick that Werdum planted on Nelson’s chin, spinning “Big Country” back as a result.
The three-round affair was Werdum’s chance to show off his improved striking and he took every opportunity to do so, winning with scores of 30-27 across the board.
“I know Roy Nelson is… a tough guy,” Werdum told Joe Rogan in the octagon following the win, “but I train every day in Muay Thai.”
With the win Werdum improves his record to 15-5-1. In defeat, Nelson drops to an overall record of 16-7, losing three of his last four fights.