When the Strikeforce Heavyweights joined the UFC, I was excited to see how they would fare against the fighters the UFC already had on their roster. The two fighters I was most looking forward to seeing we’re Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum. Overeem because he’s an elite striker and would provide a stern challenge to the top tier of the Heavyweight division and Werdum because I felt he had done himself a disservice in his first run in the UFC. Werdum showed the world that he was a top ten Heavyweight during his time in Strikeforce and began to prove that he was a far better fighter than what he had been prior to his UFC release, with his only bad fight being the Overeem Grand Prix fight. So why is it that Werdum seems to be so far away from a title shot?
Since his return to the UFC Werdum has gone 2-0 with victories over Mike Russow and Roy Nelson under his belt and has only tasted defeat in one of his last six fights, the afore mentioned bout with Overeem and is scheduled to face Antonio Noguiera at the TUF Brazil finale if the rumours are true. Werdum is an elite Heavyweight on a winning run in the division and yet is seemingly miles away from title contention. In fact Alistair Overeem who is returning from a suspension is closer to a shot at the title, despite only having one win in the UFC, over a sick Brock Lesnar. It makes you wonder what the hell Werdum has to do to get the rematch he wants with Junior Dos Santos. Although a win over Dos Santos’ mentor, Big Nog will be a great start it’s still not the match up that Werdum needs to really get himself closer to a title shot. In fact, there is nothing for Werdum to gain from this match up, except revenge for a loss to Noguiera back in 2006, but this is a different and older Noguiera from when they first met and the odds should be on Werdum to secure the victory.
Werdum really needs to put himself out there and show Dana White and Joe Silva why he deserves to get a shot at the title, a decisive win in his next fight will be a fine start but after that he should look to fight someone in the top 5 of the division or the loser of the Velasquez/Dos Santos fight. A victory over either of these fighters would really put him on the map in the eyes of the fans and the UFC management but failing that, a fight and a victory over Daniel Cormier would really put a stamp on Werdum’s title credentials and show that he’s a far more well rounded fighter than what he was in his loss to Junior Dos Santos at UFC 90. So what’s it going to take for Werdum to get a title shot? Patience and a hell of a lot of it. With the next two fights for the title already panned out, Werdum can either sit out and see what the outcome is or ensure his next opponent is someone who’s going to propel him through the rankings. Either way, it’s going to be a while before he gets his opportunity to fight for the belt.