UFC 146: Why Fabricio Werdum Should Step Up and Fight Cain Velasquez

Riley Kontek@@BigRIlesMMAFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 01:  Mixed martial artist Fabricio Werdum arrives at the third annual Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards 2010 at the Palms Casino Resort December 1, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

UFC 146 has dramatically changed since Alistair Overeem's flagged drug test, which saw his testosterone levels fly off the charts. Now, Frank Mir will step up and fight Junior dos Santos for the heavyweight title, leaving Cain Velasquez without an opponent.

The Velasquez-Mir fight was supposed to be a No.1 contender fight for the winner of dos Santos-Overeem. Now, Velasquez finds himself unopposed on a card touted as an all-heavyweight main card.

Many speculate that if Overeem is allowed to fight on the card after this whole debacle, he will fill the void for left by Mir. I believe that the right move is to not allow Overeem to fight on the card, but to allow another guy on the brink of a title shot to step up.

Fabricio Werdum made his return in his latest fight against Roy Nelson, dominating the big-bellied heavyweight to a decision victory. That win has immediately put him into talks of title contention.

The UFC cannot wait on Overeem, as there is a very good chance he will not be allowed to fight at UFC 146. Werdum, who is slated to fight Mike Russow at UFC 147, would be an excellent choice to step up, as the fight could still serve as a No. 1 contender fight.

Fabricio Werdum presents an interesting challenge to Cain Velasquez. While Velasquez is clearly the better striker, Werdum showed great improvement in his latest outing, utilizing brutal knees and kicks to route Roy Nelson.

In addition to the striking difference, Velasquez is a powerhouse wrestler, who utilizes a ground-and-pound attack to win his fights. Werdum is a polar opposite, as he is one of the best submission artists in mixed martial arts. If Velasquez or Werdum were to take this fight to the ground, it would be an excellent display of technique and power for all who spectated.

Werdum is the correct man to step up and take the fight with Velasquez at UFC 146. Overeem blew his chance when he blew up his drug test with elevated testosterone levels. The bout would be an excellent chess match and bring us a new top contender.