Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum is desperately trying to showcase his worth in the heavyweight division in order to land another title shot this year. The 40-year-old Brazilian veteran is taking on all suitors in effort to get there, which leads us to Werdum’s battle with former Bellator MMA heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov later today (Sat., Mar. 17, 2018) at UFC Fight Night 127 live on Fight Pass from inside The O2 Arena in London, England.
While Volkov, who has gone 3-0 since his UFC debut in 2016, is a dangerous striker capable of ending any heavyweight in the world, he’s just another pawn in Werdum’s plan to get his championship back. A victory over the towering Russian will push Werdum’s win streak to three and essentially land him on the doorstep of a No. 1 contender’s bout, if not an immediate title shot.
Since losing his title to current champion Stipe Miocic via knockout back at UFC 198, Werdum has been fighting and clawing his way back to relevancy. Not only did the jiu-jitsu legend willing take a bout with un-ranked Walt Harris back at UFC 216, which turned into a 65-second submission win, but Werdum put his neck on the line against unknown contender Marcin Tybura this past November. Werdum parlayed that main event matchup into a five-round unanimous decision win.
Werdum is taking yet another risk this evening in London when he matches up with the length and striking of Volkov. While Werdum remains one of the very best fighters in the UFC’s heavyweight division, every opponent is a dangerous opponent. So even though Werdum’s past few Octagon appearances have gone down flawlessly, his luck could run thin within a weight class constructed to limit long-term success.
This will be Werdum’s first fight in London since knocking out Brandon Vera back at UFC 85. It will also be the Brazilian’s second-straight bout on foreign soil, having fought Tybura in Australia four months ago. Whether or not that has any influence on how Werdum performs at UFC Fight Night 127 has yet to be seen.
We will have to wait and see if another quick turnaround for Werdum extends the win streak he’ll need to lobby for a title shot against the winner of Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier this July at UFC 226.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 127 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 1:45 p.m. ET, followed by the main card start time of 5 p.m. ET, also on Fight Pass.