Saturday June 8, the UFC returns to Brazil for UFC on FUEL TV 10: Nogueira vs. Werdum. The show will be headlined by a big fight in the Heavyweight division as Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (34-7-1(1) MMA; 5-3 UFC) faces Fabricio Werdum (16-5-1 MMA; 4-2 UFC). This is the main event of the evening and will wrap up the six fight main card. The UFC rankings have Werdum as the #3 Heavyweight contender with Nog at #8. UFC on Fuel TV 10 live on Fuel this Saturday June 8, with the main card beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT.
For the UFC, the selling point of this fight is The Ultimate Fighter. The two men were coaches on the second season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, and this Fuel show serves as the season finale. But for many fans, that's irrelevant as TUF: Brazil is not always easy to watch. The nice thing is this is a compelling fight, TUF or not. This is a rematch from 2006 in Pride when Nogueira took a unanimous decision win. In the years since, Werdum has surpassed Nogueira in the rankings. He now has a chance to both avenge that loss and make his claim on a shot at Cain Velasquez for the UFC Heavyweight Title.
How do these two stack up?
Nogueira: 37 years old | 6'3" | 77" reach
Werdum: 35 years old | 6'4" | 77" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira is an undeniable MMA Hall of Famer. The former Pride and UFC (Interim) champion is one of the greatest Heavyweights ever to set foot in the ring, and also one of the most beloved. He's made a career out of defying the odds, and his UFC run has reflected that. His losses in the UFC have been brutal - a TKO to Mir, a nasty KO to Velasquez, and the horrible kimura to Mir - and all have been followed by questions about his future. But they've also all been followed by wins. You can never count Big Nog out, but it's hard to know how much longer we'll be able to say that.
Fabricio Werdum stands right alongside Nogueira as one of the most decorated and talented submission specialists to compete in MMA's Heavyweight division. He had a solid run in Pride, but it was his 2010 Strikeforce win over Fedor Emelianenko that really cemented his legacy. Unfortunately, he hasn't really followed up well on that win, going just 2-1 in the 3 years since. He had a pair of impressive performances last year in the UFC, showing off his significantly improved striking, but he hasn't fought in nearly a year, and that fight came against the overmatched Mike Russow. If Werdum wants to make a real run at the title, the time is now.
Why should you care?
Nog is the kind of legend you just have to watch, and I suspect this is going to be a great fight. I'm hoping for a grappling battle, but I imagine we'll get a striking match-up instead, which should still be entertaining.