No. 3 ranked UFC Heavyweight contender Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum has looked quite impressive in his most recent tenure in the Octagon, beating Roy Nelson, Mike Russow, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira since his return in early 2012. The winning streak has him in the thick of the title hunt, but the next contender won’t be decided until champion Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos battle it out at UFC 166 on October 19th from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
With no bout currently scheduled, Werdum is willing to wait for the winner of that pivotal trilogy-ending bout. According to Ariel Helwani on last night’s episode of “UFC Tonight,” Werdum is hoping that the UFC will grant him this concession when he speaks with them next week:
“He told me that he is hoping to talk to the UFC next week about his future. When he speaks to them, this is what he’s going to say: he wants to fight the winner of Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos III. He’s okay with waiting for the winner of that fight. He’s expecting, or at least he’s hoping, the winner will be ready around February or March, and he wants to wait for the winner. We’ll see what the UFC says. Dana White told me he hasn’t thought about Werdum yet.”
It’s arguable that Werdum has done enough to face the winner of Velasquez vs. dos Santos III, and waiting for proposed title shots can come back to haunt a fighter. But No. 2 ranked contender Daniel Cormier is fighting Roy Nelson at UFC 166 as well, and is planning a move down to Light Heavyweight regardless of if Velasquez holds the title following the Houston card or not.
That would leave Werdum as the clear-cut championship contender. It may be in his best interest to wait and see how the scenario plays out, because there aren’t a lot of fights left for him at Heavyweight that would legitimately improve his standing more than it already is. The winner of this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 26 bout between Travis “Hapa” Browne and Alistair Overeem could end up being next on the docket for Werdum. Does he deserve to sit on the shelf to wait for the winner of Cain vs. JDS?