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.
- UFC 143 Results: Dana White Talks Carlos Condit's Next Fight, Nick Diaz' Retirement - Josh Nason
- UFC 143 Results: Mike Pierce Tolls A Warning Bell For Josh Koscheck Like He Did For Jon Fitch - Kid Nate
- UFC 143 Results: Nick Diaz Vs. Carlos Condit Event Fight Video Highlights - Anton Tabuena
- UFC 143 Results: The Career Of UFC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit - Fraser Coffeen
- UFC 143 Results: Sunday Morning Perspective - T.P. Grant
- UFC 143 Results: Does Fabricio Werdum's Mauling Of Roy Nelson Mean He's Ready To Contend In The UFC? - Kid Nate
- UFC 143 Results Video: Dana White Talks Condit Vs. Diaz, Koscheck Vs. Fitch, More At Post-Fight Scrum - Kid Nate
- UFC 143 Results: Carlos Condit, Gameplanning And The MMA Fan - Brent Brookhouse
- UFC 143 Results: Carlos Condit And Greg Jackson Solved Nick Diaz - Kid Nate
- UFC 143 Results: Winners, Losers, And Other Thoughts - Matthew Roth
- UFC 143 Results: Thompson, Poirier, Werdum And Nelson Take Home $65,000 Fight Night Bonuses - Kid Nate
- UFC 143: Condit vs. Diaz Full Fight Video Highlights - Brent Brookhouse
- UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit Results And Post-Fight Analysis - Brent Brookhouse
- UFC 143 Results: Judges' Score Cards From Carlos Condit Vs. Nick Diaz - Kid Nate
- Nick Diaz: 'I'm Outta This S**t', Retires From MMA After UFC 143 Loss To Carlos Condit - Kid Nate
- UFC 143 Results: Carlos Condit Wins Interim Welterweight Title Over Nick Diaz In Thrilling Affair - Tim Burke
- Bad Boy Presents Bloody Elbow Radio - Episode 132: UFC 143 Results Review - Matt Bishop
- UFC 143 Post-Fight Press Conference Video And Coverage - Tim Burke
- UFC 143 Results: Fabricio Werdum Beats Up Roy Nelson, Takes Unanimous Decision - Tim Burke
- UFC 143 Results: Josh Koscheck Picks Up Razor-Thin Split Decision Victory Over Mike Pierce - Tim Burke
- UFC 143 Results: Renan Barao Takes Unanimous Decision Over Scott Jorgensen - Tim Burke
- UFC 143 Results: Ed Herman Submits Clifford Starks In Round Two - Tim Burke
- UFC 143 Results: Dustin Poirier Submits Max Holloway - Tim Burke
- UFC 143 Results: Edwin Figueroa Beats Alex Cacares By Split Decision In Weird Fight - Tim Burke
- UFC 143 Results: Matt Brown Stops Chris Cope In The Second Round - Tim Burke
- UFC 143 Results: Matt Riddle Picks Up Split Decision Victory Over Henry Martinez - Tim Burke
- UFC 143 Results: Rafael Natal Wins Unanimous Decision Over Michael Kuiper - Tim Burke
- UFC 143 Results: Stephen Thompson Knocks Out Dan Stittgen With Deadly Head Kick - Tim Burke
- UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit - Live Results And Play-By-Play For PPV Main Card - Brent Brookhouse
- UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit - Live Results And Play-By-Play For Undercard Fights - Brent Brookhouse