Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum is still serving his two-year suspension for a United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) violation dating back to 2018, but the Brazilian veteran already has his sights set on his Octagon return.
Werdum, who is eligible to return to action in May of 2020, only has two fights left on his current UFC contract. And even though Werdum doesn’t agree with USADA’s control over his fighting future the 42-year-old still plans to fulfill his deal with the promotion and give them two more fights.
But who should Werdum fight in his anticipated return to UFC?
While there are a variety of heavyweight contenders to pick from, Werdum’s head coach, Rafael Cordeiro, believes the former UFC champion wants to run things back with fellow Brazilian veteran Junior dos Santos.
“We believe that 2020 will be a great year with the return of our champion and will surely return to fight for the title,” Cordeiro told Combate. “His fight with Cigano would be very interesting. I don’t know about him, but on Werdum’s side it’s something he’s wanted to do for a long time. When Werdum was champ, it didn’t make much sense. Now with both of them coming off defeats, it would be interesting.
“If you have a problem, solve it in there and do what you have to do. They are two great athletes and a rematch would be a good fight for the champion.”
Remember, Werdum and dos Santos first met back in 2008 at UFC 90. Despite it being “Cigano’s” UFC debut, he was able to catch Werdum with a perfectly-timed uppercut and cut the lights off in just 80 seconds. It remains one of the best finishes in the career of dos Santos and one of the most disappointing loses of Werdum’s UFC tenure.
Dos Santos, 35, is coming off a rough knockout loss to Francis Ngannou this past June. However, the former UFC heavyweight champion had won three fights in a row prior to that defeat so JDS should remain a major divisional player entering 2020.
That makes a rematch between Werdum and dos Santos highly plausible, especially as “Vai Cavalo” tries to close out his UFC contract in fashion.