Minutes after Cain Velasquez took home the win from the UFC 166 rubber match opposite Junior dos Santos, he very likely has his next opponent lined up. That would be former Strikeforce fighter Fabricio Werdum.
Speaking after Joe Rogan at the end of the UFC 166 broadcast, UFC President Dana White, when asked who is next for Velasquez, quickly responded that a fight with Werdum "makes sense."
Werdum is an enduring veteran of the heavyweight division with fights in Pride, Jungle Fight and Strikeforce. He is best known for his shocking upset victory over Fedor Emelianenko in 2010, and also has wins over Gabriel Gonzaga, Alistair Overeem and Antonio Silva. He is currently riding a three-fight winning streak, with convincing victories over Roy Nelson, Mike Russow and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
He is currently sitting as the number-three contender on the official UFC rankings, behind only Junior dos Santos and Daniel Cormier. While he is best known for his world-class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he is also quite skilled as a striker, demonstrated best in his fight with Nelson, where he landed huge knees and hands in the clinch at will.
While Werdum is no doubt excited about the chance to fight for the belt, he faces a seemingly insurmountable challenge in fighting Velasquez. Werdum lost to Junior dos Santos, who was actually making his UFC debut at the time. Dos Santos has since knocked out numerous UFC veterans, but was absolutely dominated by Velasquez, who used his endless gas tank to mercilessly pressure him for 23 minutes before finishing him with punches.
While the bout is not yet official, there are no other logical opponents for Velasquez at this time. If the fight gets booked, expect it to land in spring 2014.