Fabricio Werdum Faces Roy Nelson in UFC Return

December 14, 2011

A UFC 143 heavyweight showdown between Roy Nelson and Fabricio Werdum is in tap for Super Bowl weekend, according to MMAWeekly.com sources.

Nelson’s (16-6) UFC tenure was teetering on the brink following back-to-back losses to Junior dos Santos and Frank Mir, but he bounced back strong in his most recent fight. Nelson took the fight to Mirko “Cro Cop Filipovic at UFC 137, likely ending the Croatian’s career via a third-round TKO stoppage.

The win over Cro Cop gave Nelson new life in the Octagon. The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 winner was under heavy scrutiny after the losses and receiving a heavy dose of criticism over his weight, but a victory always goes a long way towards silencing the critics.

Werdum (14-5-1) was on a strong run in Strikeforce, capping a three-fight winning streak with a victory over Fedor Emelianenko. He was upended in his most recent bout, delivering a lackluster performance and losing a unanimous decision to Alistair Overeem in June.

Werdum has been very vocal about wanting to return to the UFC, now getting his wish granted. He had a two-fight streak in his past UFC life halted by current UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos.

A battle for the interim UFC welterweight championship between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit headlines UFC 143 on Feb. 4 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

(Erik Fontanez and Damon Martin contributed to this report.)

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