UFC on Fuel TV 10: June 8, 2013 Ginásio Paulo Sarasate in Fortaleza, Brazil UFC Heavyweight Contender Fabricio Werdum (-170) Profile: Fabricio Werdum (16-5-1) is probably best known as the man who ended a 28-fight unbeaten streak by MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko, but he has seen mixed results since that career-defining submission that capped off their headlining Strikeforce event in June of 2010. Werdum’s foray into the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix nearly a year later met a quick end at the hands of Alistair Overeem via unanimous decision in the quarterfinals. He has since bounced back in his last two UFC fights, brutally defeating Roy Nelson in a one-sided decision at UFC 143 and then scoring a TKO victory against Mike Russow at UFC 147. Werdum remains one of the most decorated Jiu-Jitsu fighters in all of MMA, and by far the most accomplished in the heavyweight division. The 35-year-old Brazilian has represented his country well, earning multiple gold and silver medals in ADCC grappling championships while holding black belts in Judo, Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. UFC Heavyweight Contender Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (+130) Profile: One of the most legendary heavyweights known in MMA, Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira (34-7-1, 1 NC) has been everywhere and seen it all. The 36-year-old Brazilian participated in a fabled RINGS: King of Kings tournament, and he was the face of Pride until he was defeated by a formerly little-known fighter out of Russia named Fedor Emelianenko. Nogueira’s UFC tenure has been up and down with a 5-3 record, including two brutal losses to Frank Mir, one of which resulted in him having his arm snapped and the other marking the first KO loss of his career. But he has also held the UFC interim heavyweight title and remains one of the most beloved fighters in the history of MMA. Nogueira presents danger for his opponents not only on the feet, but especially on the mat with his outstanding BJJ skills that have led to 20 submissions. He is no spring chicken though and will be relying on his heart and the love of the sport to help him extend his career.
Opening UFC on FUEL TV 10 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Werdum a slight -170 favorite (bet $170 to win $100) while Nogueira opened as a +130 underdog (bet $100 to win $130) at Several Bookmakers sportsbook. Both will serve as coaches on Season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil leading up to their rematch, with the original bout between them taking place more than seven years ago in the quarterfinals of the 2006 Pride Openweight Grand Prix. Nogueira got the best of Werdum the first time around, earning a UD victory before losing to Josh Barnett in the semifinals via split decision. Werdum is 8-3 since then, including 5-1 in his past six, and he could be in line for a much bigger fight if he can get past Nogueira here. Like his twin brother, Nogueira is simply trying to keep his career alive at this point. He is a very crafty fighter who relies heavily on submissions, which could be difficult against Werdum, who has never been submitted. Four of Werdum’s five career losses have gone the distance, with the other coming via first-round KO at the hands of Junior dos Santos at UFC 90. Werdum would love nothing more than to put himself in position for a rematch with dos Santos, although the former UFC heavyweight champion could earn a shot to win back his title if he beats Mark Hunt at UFC 160. Former Strikeforce champ Daniel Cormier may also need an opponent if he defeats Frank Mir as expected in his UFC debut later this month. But before any of those scenarios can happen, Werdum obviously needs to take care of Nogueira first.