UFC 143 Results Recap: Fabricio Werdum Vs. Roy Nelson

Image via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

In the co-main event of UFC 143, Fabricio Werdum battered Roy Nelson around the cage for three round and picked up a unanimous decision victory. All three judges had it 30-27 for Vai Cavalo. Werdum's muay thai was on point all night, and he landed a gaggle of solid punches and knees from the thai clinch. He opened a large cut on Nelson's face in the first round with a knee and just kept going from there. Nelson landed his big right had a couple of time and staggered Werdum at least once, but was unable to capitalize on it. He did manage to cement his image as a fighter with an iron chin, though.

The bout was Werdum's first in the UFC in over three years, and he returned in style. He immediately positioned himself as a top contender in the division, and will likely get a top-five opponent in his next bout. Meanwhile, Nelson has lost three out of his last four (all against top guys) and while his slimmed-down physique has helped his cardio a bit, UFC president Dana White still wants Nelson to move down to 205.

What was the high spot of this fight?

The first-round knee that bent Nelson's nose sideways and opened up a large cut.

Where do these guys go from here?

Werdum looked extremely impressive against Nelson, and it was his best performance since his submission victory over Fedor Emelianenko. As stated above, he will be a contender for the UFC heavyweight title right away. A bout against former champions Cain Velasquez or Frank Mir could definitely be in his future.

It's tough to see where Nelson goes from here. It's clear that he doesn't have the tool to be an elite heavyweight, but will he be satisfied with a gatekeeper role? Despite the push from many to get Big Country to drop to 205, it doesn't seem to be a likely scenario for a 35-year-old with somewhat limited standup. A bout with the winner of the Ben Rothwell vs. Brendan Schaub matchup (Nelson defeated Schaub to win TUF 10) could be a good fit.

Watch it now, later or never?

Now. I was tempted to go with later because it went to decision, but Werdum put an epic beating on Nelson for 15 minutes and it was pretty entertaining. Plus, it won fight of the night.

More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit in the full entry.

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