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5/2/16: Top future fights to make for Fabricio Werdum
With UFC Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum back in action next week, today I look at the five opponents I want to see him face the most. Have your own take? Send your thoughts to MMATorchEditor@gmail.com!
5. Cain Velasquez: Yes we saw this fight last summer, and the immediate rematch would have been completely unnecessary. However, given the circumstances surrounding Velasquez’s injury return last year, running this fight again down the line could bring a different dynamic to the matchup. Can Werdum repeat what he did last June? Can Velasquez come back stronger in a second fight to avenge that loss? There are questions remaining in a second matchup, and it would be intriguing to see again should Velasquez dispatch of Travis Browne in July.
4. Junior dos Santos: Speaking of questions, a resurgent Junior dos Santos is an intriguing rematch for Werdum, given the divergent paths the two have taken since their first meeting eight years ago. Werdum’s KO loss in that fight took him out of the UFC, while dos Santos went on to become champion himself, and now the roles have been a bit reversed over the last couple of years. With how good dos Santos looked against Ben Rothwell, another title fight isn’t as far-fetched as it was just a few months ago, and it’s a fight I’d like to see again in the future.
3. Alistair Overeem: It’s another rematch, but that’s what we’ve got available in the top end of this heavyweight field. The rubber match here is almost a necessity to erase the images of that second fight in Strikeforce. Werdum had no desire to strike with Overeem in that fight, leading to the infamously awful butt-scooting nature of the bout; he’s become a different in the five years since then, and with Overeem a fight away from that title bout, a third fight is bound to be better. It would be nearly impossible for it to be worse.
2. Stipe Miocic: The next fight set for the champ is one of the most intriguing simply because it’s a new matchup. That’s a rare thing in the heavyweight field, and with Miocic looking quite dangerous on numerous occasions, he could be a very legitimate threat at UFC 198. He did nearly defeat Junior dos Santos in a five round fight (I had it scored in his favor), and with his quick finish of Andrei Arlovski he’s in a good position to be competitive with the champ in Brazil.
1. Jon Jones: The long talked about move up for Jones is legitimately possible within the next year or two, and that super fight between the best light heavyweight ever and the UFC Heavyweight Champion would be about as good as it gets in the sport. Should Werdum still be that man when Jones finally makes the move up (and he very well might be), that’s the biggest and best fight anyone could hope to see.
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