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Monday Morning Hangover: Are Fabricio Werdum’s last two wins good enough to earn UFC title shot?

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Sydney-Werdum vs Tybura Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as UFC Fight Night 121 blew the roof off Qudos Bank Arena last Saturday night (Nov. 18, 2017) in Sydney, Australia.

Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Bec Rawlings, who was upset by Octagon newcomer Jessica-Rose Park in the co-main event of the evening (recap here). And Will Brooks, who suffered his third straight defeat after getting submitted by Nik Lentz (see it again here).

And Marcin Tybura, who lost a unanimous decision to Fabricio Werdum in the main event of the evening after five, hard-fought rounds.

Speaking of Werdum, after his win, the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight champion of the world called for a shot at the strap, saying he’s more deserving than anyone in the division at the moment, given his impressive resume.

Perhaps as a way to remind us of the big names he’s defeated in the past as a form of deflecting from the competition he’s beaten lately.

“I feel for sure I deserve it. It’s not just now for this fight and my last fight. I’ve beat a lot of guys like Fedor Emelianenko, Cain Velasquez, Minotauro,” Werdum said. “I have a big history. For 20 years I’ve been fighting. Not just now. I told you before have two belts in my home. I don’t like to say but it’s true. Only one fighter in the world is a jiu-jitsu champion, a submission champion and a UFC champion. It’s me. I don’t like when I say that, but I know this is true for sure. Give me the opportunity I just want to show again,” he said.

And it’s good he’s sticking with that reason, as his last two victories haven't exactly been staple wins to get him to the big dance. No disrespect to Walt Harris and Marcin, but they aren’t the kind of world beaters one has to defeat in order to earn a championship fight.

That said, it’s not Werdum’s fault things worked out the way they did. He was originally set to take on Derrick Lewis at UFC 216 before “Black Beast” bowed out of the showdown with a back injury. Harris took a shot and stepped in to face “Vai Cavalo,” only to get submitted after less than a minute of action.

Fabricio then did UFC a solid an accepted a quick turnaround bout against Tybura after the promotion pulled Mark Hunt of of the fight due to health concerns. This fight, though, was a bit tougher than expected, as Marcin refused to roll over, taking Werdum to deep waters for a full 25 minutes.

In the end, though, Fabricio did what he was supposed to do and earned his second straight win.

In conclusion, we go back to our original question: Are Werdum’s last two victories good enough for a championship fight? Yes and no. No because Harris and Tybura aren’t at the level of competition as say Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis. Yes because Werdum has won two straight fights, and at the end of the day -- especially in the Heavyweight division, unfortunately — that’s all it takes to get a title fight.

Of course, this other hard-hitting heavyweight could have something to say in the matter.

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