Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum will fight Ben Rothwell at UFC 211 in Dallas, Texas on May 13th.
Werdum last fought at UFC 203 in September of 2016, defeating Travis Browne by unanimous decision to get back to winning ways, having lost his title to Stipe Miocic prior to that.
The 39 year-old Brazilian was then scheduled to rematch Cain Velasquez at UFC 207 in December, but the fight was canceled after his opponent got injured.
Now he fights the No.5 ranked Rothwell, who is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Junior dos Santos last April that ended his four-fight winning streak, and for the time being at least, put an end to the 35-year-old’s hopes of getting into title contention.
Technically, Werdum remains the current No.1 contender in the division, so it could be seen as something of a snub that he’ll have to settle for fighting in the co-main event at UFC 211, while the No.4 ranked Junior dos Santos fights the champion Miocic instead.
Werdum undoubtedly ruffled a few feathers at UFC HQ in 2016 when he openly critized the promotion’s clothing sponsor Reebok, while his refusal to accept a short notice fight at UFC 207 unless he was paid $500,000 and given a cut of the pay-per-view also didn’t go down well.
Nevertheless, a win over Rothwell would appear to give him a solid route to being lined up as the next title contender against the winner of the Miocic Vs JDS rematch.