Sunday, 5 February 2012

UFC 143: Werdum vs Nelson Recap

Roy Nelson had developed into something of a gate keeper coming into this fight, but he has aspirations to fight higher up the roster.  Well, in this fight he got his wish with a highly ranked and highly though of Fabricio Werdum.  These were two Brazilian Ju Jutsu black belts capable of dropping bombs.  Nelson had recently halted a two fight skid, defeating Croatian legend Mirko Cro Crop and Werdum was coming off a decision loss to Alistair Overeem.  Most gave the submission advantage to Werdum, but there were clear doubts as to whether he could get this fight to the ground.  For Nelson, the question was whether or not he could land that big bomb of a right hand.

via mmamania

The Fight
Wow, I really owe Fabricio Werdum an apology.  I had assumed this would be a fight between one guy looking to go to the ground and the other looking for one big right.  In the end, Werdum looked like a complete, wel rounded mixed martial artist.  His stand up was dynamic and clearly powerful enough to do damage to anyone other than the tank, Roy Nelson.  For three rounds, Werdum attacked with knees, kicks, a stiff jab and some lovely straight rights.  His Thai clinch was incredibly impressive.  He basically controlled everything across three rounds, taking every round in a unanimous decision victory.

These GIFs from really tell the story of the fight.
What's Next?
Werdum looked so good in this fight, that the result surely catapults him well up the heavyweight division.  He might well line up against a big name like Frank Mir (I would love to see a BJJ battle between those two) or Cain Velasquez.

Nelson looked tough and game, but really offered very little of note in the fight.  He has now lost three of his last 4 and I expect him to spend the rest of career putting on fun fights against fighters who will punch him in the face while he looks to land his giant hay-maker.  A match up with French kickboxer Cheik Kongo could be great.

Other UFC 143 recaps on Jimma

UFC 143: Diaz vs Condit Recap
UFC 143: Best of the Rest Recap

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