The last time Fabricio Werdum was inside the Octagon with Junior dos Santos, "Vai Cavalo" was on the business end of an upset knockout that eventually saw his exit from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and dos Santos' ascent to UFC gold.
Since then, Werdum has tussled with titans and clashed with champions. He signed with a pre-Zuffa Strikeforce and picked up two wins over Mike Kyle and Antonio Silva before he was booked opposite Fedor Emelianenko in a fight just about no one gave him a chance in.
A little over a minute and a perfectly executed triangle choke later, Werdum had toppled a legend.
His next fight was perhaps the oddest 15 minutes any mixed martial arts (MMA) fan will ever see. He took on Alistair Overeem and constantly dropped to his back while literally begging the Dutchman to engage him on the ground. "Ubereem" didn't take the bait and walked away with the decision and soon after, both men found themselves inside the Octagon as the UFC picked apart just about everything they wanted off Strikeforce.
For Werdum, it's been a successful return to the promotion. He tore up Roy Nelson at UFC 143, earning "Fight of the Night" honors in his re-debut, and was booked for a fight in his home country at UFC 147 against Mike Russow.
He stopped the American in the first round and proceeded to call out his fellow countryman, "Cigano," for a rematch.
But with only two wins under his belt, should Werdum be calling out the champion?
After Friday's (June 22) UFC on FX 4 event, I lamented how two potential featherweight title challengers -- Hatsu Hioki and Ross Pearson -- were dropped from contention after losing their bouts. And when it comes to a division as anemic as heavyweight, something along those lines would be catastrophic.
Sure, Werdum only has two wins during this run in the UFC but the promotion can't afford to lose such a viable contender.
A rematch with dos Santos already has a built-in storyline and would do huge numbers especially in their country of Brazil. How insane would the fans in Rio de Janeiro go for an all-Brazilian heavyweight title bout?
Of course, the champ already has a date set with the man he wrested the title away from in Cain Velasquez. But what would come next for the heavyweight strap? Why not Werdum? Not much else in terms of options exist.
I know, there's the 256-pound elephant in the room.
Overeem's future with the company is unclear after his testosterone debacle and I'm unsure if the UFC would put their faith in him to potentially become their main heavyweight representative. The last thing they need is Overeem winning the belt and then getting popped for something else that shouldn't be in his urine sample.
In all reality, Werdum is a broken bone or torn ligament away from stepping into the UFC 152 main event. Should Velasquez have to bow out due to injury, the Brazilian should surely expect to be asked to step up. If the champion drops off the card, an interim bout between "Vai Cavalo" and Velasquez should definitely be booked.
So, yes, Werdum was right in calling out dos Santos. The man knocked him out and is the current champion, two perfect reasons to want to step back inside the Octagon with him.
And with the recent rash of injuries, he may get his wish sooner than he anticipated.