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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Fabricio Werdum after knockout loss to Alexander Volkov?

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Werdum vs Volkov Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as UFC Fight Night 127 blew the roof off O2 Arena last Saturday night (March 17, 2018) in London, England.

Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Jimi Manuwa, who had his title hopes dashed by a very determined Jan Blachowicz, who got some sweet revenge on a man who beat him two years ago by outclassing him in front of the British fans (relive it here). And Peter Sobotta, who was finished by Leon Edwards with just one second remaining on the clock (see it again here).

But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a couple days removed from the show?

Fabricio Werdum.

Coming into his headlining bout against Alexander Volkov, “Vai Cavalo” was seemingly just one win away from earning himself a shot at reclaiming the UFC Heavyweight strap. All he had to do was slow down the momentum of a former Bellator MMA champion who recently found new life inside the Octagon, and won all five of his fights with the promotion, including victories over Roy Nelson and Stefan Struve.

After a few close rounds to begin the fight, it seemed as if Fabricio’s experience would surface and pay off in the later rounds, though he was sporting a few shiners courtesy of the Russian striking machine. But, it was Volkov who showed his experience and patience, picking his shots until he clipped his foe with a mean uppercut and a finishing blow on his downed opponent (recap).

The loss derails Fabricio’s championship hopes, obviously. The real question is, for how long?

Currently ranked at No. 3, Werdum may very well drop a few pegs following the defeat. And with veterans such a Cain Velasquez on the comeback trail, and rising contenders such as Derrick Lewis and Curtis Blaydes, and now Volkov making some noise of their own, Werdum’s road back to the title just keeps getting harder by the minute.

Can he do it? Sure, especially since he has a need to stay active — which has earned him title of “company guy” — as he competed four times in the last eight months, which is commendable. But, it could have also backfired against him, as constant training camps and fighting every two months can’t be good for the body, or the mind.

Still, Werdum’s gonna Werdum and I don’t expect him to sit out for too long, though it may do him some good to regroup since at 40 years of age, he isn’t the youngest rooster in the coop. One thing is certain, this setback won’t deter him from at least trying to get back to the gold.

As for who he should face next, I’d like to think a rematch against Mark Hunt seems about right. Hunt has been wanting to run it back ever since “Vai Cavalo” won the interim 265-pound strap at his expense back in 2015. Both men are coming off defeats, and there really isn’t anyone else that makes sense for them at the moment.

Unless, of course, you have a better idea?

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