Following a hard-earned victory over Marcin Tybura last Saturday in Sydney, many people are wondering who is next for the former UFC Heavyweight Champion.
From the possibility of a title shot to a mid-ranked contender, I will go through the three matchups that Werdum could have next.
1. Stipe Miocic
Probably the most obvious person on this list as Werdum is ranked #2 in the rankings and he also lost his title to Miocic back in May of 2016 at UFC 198, which took place in Werdum’s home country of Brazil. Miocic has not competed in the Octagon since his victory over Junior Dos Santos back in May at UFC 211 and is on the brink of becoming the first heavyweight in history to successfully defend his belt on three occasions.
To many, it may seem like the next person worthy of competing for the heavyweight strap will be the winner of Alistair Overeem and Francis Ngannou. The pair are set to face off at UFC 218 in December and the contest has been highly anticipated by fight fans.
Werdum feels he deserves the title shot over Overeem and Ngannou as he believes Ngannou is too young for the shot and should have to fight his way through a couple more competitors. If Werdum is granted his wish this rematch will sure to be a fiery contest as both Miocic and Werdum can end a fight at any moment.
2. Alistair Overeem/Francis Ngannou
What better way to sort out the number #1 contender issue then have Werdum face the winner of the fight many fans believe will crown the next title challenger.
It is known to many the history between Werdum and Overeem, the two have already faced off on three occasions. Werdum was victorious in the first bout when the two competed in Pride and Overeem got the better of the Brazilian in their last two bouts, most recently at UFC 213 when he won by majority decision, which Werdum and many fans felt was controversial. There’s no doubt Werdum would like to get that win back and Overeem may want to shut the doubters down who believe he lost to Werdum.
Francis Ngannou and Fabricio Werdum is a fight we almost saw at UFC 216 as Ngannou called the UFC to face Werdum on just hours notice after Derrick Lewis was announced as injured and pulled from the card. Following Werdum’s comments on Ngannou, saying he wasn’t ready to fight for the title yet, the Frenchman might want to face Werdum first to prove him wrong.
Whichever one Werdum faces off against it will be a must-see encounter.
3. Derrick Lewis
Derrick Lewis really had everything against him at UFC 216. Just hours before the biggest fight of his career against Werdum he picked up an injury in his back and could not compete. With a victory in this fight, Lewis could have been propelled into title contention, but it was not to be for ‘The Black Beast.’
Lewis said on Twitter he is medically cleared and he wants the winner of Werdum and Tybura. Werdum said in the post-fight press conference, he does not want to face Lewis after want happened last time. The UFC may feel differently about this as they may want to see the fight they previously had booked, but time will tell.
It will definitely interest fight fans to see who Werdum will face next, but there’s no doubt that he is spoiled for choice.