Fabricio Werdum‘s performance at UFC 143 against Roy Nelson was an impressive, and to some, unexpected, turn that launched a win streak leading to his November title shot against champ Cain Velasquez.
Since then, Nelson’s popularity has grown by leaps and bounds as he’s earned a 4-2 record with four knockouts. And yet, there’s been one thing lacking for “Big Country”: a title shot.
As Nelson (20-9 MMA, 7-5 UFC) opines in this video for MMAjunkie, that could all change very quickly, and especially if he’s able to knock out the iron-jawed Mark Hunt (9-8-1 MMA, 4-2-1 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 52. While he currently sits at No. 10 in USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie’s MMA heavyweight rankings and No. 9 on the UFC’s official list, he believes a shot at the belt is never out of reach. (A rocky relationship with UFC President Dana White? No biggie.)
If Werdum is able to usurp Velasquez at UFC 180 on Nov. 15 in Mexico City, Nelson wants a rematch.
“With the UFC, it’s all about timing,” he said. “Werdum and Cain’s fight, that’s in November, (and) who knows if Cain is going to be injured again or Werdum’s going to win. If Werdum wins, I would love to do the rematch, and then I’ve got five rounds.”
First, though, Nelson has to go 25 minutes with Hunt, whose heavy hands and aggression rival his.
“I like Mark because he’s an old-school fighter,” he said. “He comes to fight. These new guys? I’m an old-breed, but these new guys like to try to do this point stuff and try to squeak out a win. I want to know who wins. If you knock me out, then I know you’re a better fighter. If you submit me, I know you’re a better fighter. But if you win by judges’ decision, that just means you touched my face more times.”
UFC Fight Night 52 takes place Sept. 20 at Saitama Super Arena, just outside Tokyo. The event streams on UFC Fight Pass.
For more on UFC Fight Night 52, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.