He may be the man set to next face Cain Velasquez for the UFC Heavyweight championship, but it was a whole different story for Vai Cavalo back in 2008.
Werdum faced Junior Dos Santos – who was then a little known prospect making his UFC debut – at UFC 90. Although he was the favourite, Werdum was thoroughly dominated and finished by JDS in an 81 second affair. That led to his release from the UFC, and few fans expected much from the Brazilian after that.
He was picked up by Strikeforce, and put the whole world on notice when he became the first man to convincingly beat Fedor Emelianenko in June 2010. He made his return to the UFC a year-and-a-half later and has been nothing short of dominant, with wins over Roy Nelson, Mike Russow, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Travis Browne.
That’s pretty amazing for a man who just turned 37, and a win over Velasquez will be the cherry on top of an amazing resurgence for Werdum.