"Vai Cavalo" established his place as one of the top contenders in his weight class with a second-round submission of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the UFC on FUEL TV 10 main event, and while his string of three-straight victories would typically be enough to jump right into a title fight, the next championship bout for the weight class is already set as Cain Velasquez will defend his belt against Junior dos Santos later this year.
That leaves Werdum in a state of flux, and after returning from almost a full year away from competition due to a coaching stint on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): Brazil 2, waiting on the sidelines for a title fight to come to fruition doesn't seem like the best decision.
That said, Werdum is willing to put himself on the bench if the UFC brass deems it to be in his best interest.
"I've already spent one year without fighting because I did The Ultimate Fighter here in Brazil," Werdum said through an interpreter at the UFC on FUEL TV 10 post-fight press conference (watch it here). "I wouldn't like that to happen again but if the UFC says, ‘Wait Werdum a little bit more,'...I'll definitely wait and I'll be working out to become the champion."
While waiting for the Velasquez-dos Santos winner could be viewed as a logical decision since title fights don't come around often, there are so many factors involved that could cause the Werdum's layoff to be much, much longer than anticipated.
For starters, a date and location for the title trilogy bout is unknown at this time, and even if it's soon, a simple mishap such as a broken hand or other injury could delay the fight far beyond expectations.
Moreover, with Werdum sitting on the bench, the division could pass him by and another fighter could come along with an impressive win that would make everyone forget about the Brazilian's most recent accomplishments.
It's a risky decision for the 35-year-old, but one that he appears ready to take.
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