UFC heavyweight contender Fabricio Werdum has been chomping at the bit to get a shot at UFC gold ever since submitting Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC on FUEL 10 in June.
Based on a recent interview with Fight Hub TV, it seems clear that "Vai Cavalo" has his sights set on current champion Cain Velasquez, who has a rubber match with Junior dos Santos headlining UFC 166 this Saturday.
"I want the belt, but Cain Velasquez is a good fight for me because he takes down guys, and if he takes me down, I’m finishing him," Werdum said, admitting that a matchup with the former two-time NCAA Division I All-American would be ideal.
While Velasquez was awarded his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu earlier this month, Werdum, a second-degree black belt in BJJ, is regarded as one of the best grapplers in the world.
Werdum, a 10-time gold medalist in top-tier gi and no-gi BJJ competitions before entering MMA, has submitted the likes of Nogueira, Alistair Overeem and Fedor Emelianenko inside the cage. Since making his return to the Octagon, the Brazilian native has put together three straight dominant performances against Roy Nelson, Mike Russow and Nogueira.
According to the UFC's official rankings, Werdum is the No. 3 heavyweight fighter in the world.
Meanwhile, Velasquez's only loss in 13 professional fights came against Dos Santos at the inaugural UFC on FOX event in November 2011, as he was knocked out early in the first round.
However, it didn't take the American Kickboxing Academy staple long to earn his rematch with "Cigano" at UFC 155 last December, and he dominated his Brazilian counterpart for five rounds.
The two elite heavyweights look to settle their score this weekend, while Werdum anxiously awaits a matchup with the winner.
Werdum has already squared off with Dos Santos, suffering a brutal uppercut knockout early into their UFC 90 encounter back in October 2008, so a JDS victory this weekend could hurt Werdum's chances at a title shot.
Would Werdum's impeccable submission skills be too much for Velasquez to handle, or would the champion's cardio, wrestling and ground-and-pound be enough to wear his Brazilian counterpart down?