Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
The coaches of the 2nd season of TUF Brazil don't square off until June but that hasn't stopped Dana White from looking ahead in the Heavyweight title picture.
The UFC Heavyweight title is being contested at UFC 155 between Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez, but Dana White was looking down the road at a media roundtable in Brazil on Friday. White spoke to the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil which feature Heavyweight Brazilian Jiu Jitsu masters Antonio Rodrigo "Big Nog" Nogueira and Fabricio Werdum as coaches.
Nogueira is a Pride and UFC great, has held a UFC Hevyweight belt and is one of the best Heavyweight submission artists in MMA history. Werdum is one of those rare athletes with success in both MMA and competitive grappling. A two time ADCC Submission Wrestling Champion and IBJJF World Champion, Werdum is considered one of the best competitive heavyweight grapplers in the world. In MMA Werdum took part in championship tournaments in both Pride and Strikeforce. Werdum and Nogueira actually met back in 2006 in the Pride Openweight Grand Prix, and Nogueira won a decision.
UFC President, Dana White said on Friday (28) that the Brazilian Fabricio Werdum will be the next challenger for the heavyweight belt, if he wins Rodrigo Nogueira in his next fight in early June.
The statement came during a roundtable with the Brazilian media at the headquarters of Zuffa, in Las Vegas. "Yes. If [Werdum] wins, [he] will have their title shot," said the boss.
Werdum has worked hard on expanding his skill set and since moving from Strikeforce to the UFC he is 2-0, showing off very much improved striking. This a important aspect for Werdum to focus on as in 2008 he was knocked out by current champion Junior dos Santos in his UFC debut in 2008.
It has been a very long road back to the UFC and now with one more win Werdum could receive the first title shot of his career.