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UFC 143: Fabricio Werdum vs Roy Nelson booked for Feb. 4 in Las Vegas

If the Strikeforce promotion plans to soldier on into 2012, it will have to be without heavyweight grappler Fabricio Werdum.

That's according to a report from MMA Weekly that has "Vai Cavalo" returning to the Octagon for a 265-pound showdown opposite Roy Nelson at UFC 143 on Feb. 4, 2012, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Werdum (14-5-1) already holds a 2-2 record under the Zuffa banner. After losing a slapfight against Andrei Arlovski in his Octagon debut, he laid waste to Brandon Vera and Gabriel Gonzaga with consecutive technical knockout finishes.

Then he had a little run-in with an unknown Brazilian named Junior dos Santos, who pasted the out-of-shape and overconfident jiu-jitsu wizard via first round knockout.

Goodbye UFC, hello Strikeforce.

Werdum went on a three fight tear for the boys in San Jose, starting with a submission over Mike Kyle that preceded a judges nod over Antonio Silva. His biggest accomplishment, in the tap heard 'round the world, was a June 2010 choke-out of Fedor Emelianenko.

And he followed up the biggest win of his career with one of the worst, a three-round stinker against then-heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.

Can he get back to his winning ways in his UFC return?

Nelson (16-6) snapped a two-fight losing streak by retiring Mirko Filipovic at UFC 137 last October in "Sin City." The swollen submission specialist is 3-2 under the ZUFFA banner since graduating at the top of his TUF 10 class in late 2009.

But where does a win -- or loss -- place him in the incredible shrinking division?

UFC 143 will be headlined by former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz battling ex-WEC 170-pound kingpin Carlos Condit for the right to wear the division's Interim strap with Georges St. Pierre on the sidelines recovering from knee surgery.

In the co-main event, former welterweight number one contender Josh Koscheck will try to keep his spot among the 170-pound elite by taking on the venerable Mike Pierce.

For more on UFC 143: "Diaz vs. Condit" click here.

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