A heavyweight trilogy fight between Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum is the first fight to be targeted for UFC 213 on July 8th in Las Vegas.
The two veteran stars first fought in PRIDE back in May of 2006, with Werdum winning on that occasion by kimura submission. They were then matched for a second time in Strikeforce five years later in what proved to be a truly dreadful fight with very little action that Overeem would win by unanimous decision.
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. After that win Overeem left Strikeforce for the UFC, where he’s since compiled a 7-4 record.
Along the way he’s defeated former champions like Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir, Junior dos Santos and Andrei Arlovski, but fell short in his own title challenge against Stipe Miocic last year. He’s since rebounded with a KO win over Mark Hunt, leaving him ranked No.3 in the division.
Werdum also jumped over to the UFC after losing to Overeem in 2011 and immediately began to deliver an impressive run of form that saw him win his first four fights against Roy Nelson, Mike Russow, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Travis Browne.
That earned him an interim title shot against Mark Hunt, and after defeating him by TKO he unified the title with a submission win over Cain Velasquez.
Werdum then lost the belt after being KO’d by Stipe Miocic in May of last year, but he’s rebounded with a decision win over Travis Browne and is currently ranked at the No.1 contender in the division.
UFC 213 will serve as the climax to International Fight Week in Las Vegas and is an event that traditionally sees the promotion offer up one of their most stacked cards of the year, so expect plenty more major fights to be announced for this one in the weeks and months ahead.