The last time fans saw Fabricio Werdum inside the Octagon he was a win away from fighting for the UFC heavyweight title before running into a then-unknown Brazilian by the name of Junior dos Santos. Werdum is poised to make his return to the infamous eight-sided structure this weekend at UFC 143 where he’ll face Roy Nelson on the PPV portion of the card.

While Werdum knows he won’t be earning a title-shot by beating “Big Country”, he does feel as though a convincing victory over someone with Nelson’s credentials could propel him into a bout for top contendership given the general shakiness of the heavyweight division.

The 34-year old offered his assessment in a recent interview with the UFC where cameras stopped by his camp at Kings MMA.

“I expect a great fight with Roy Nelson to keep on my path to the road for the belt,” began Werdum before talk turned towards his goals. “I can visualize my next three fights. I think I’ll fight now against Nelson, then one more fight, and then I’ll get a title-shot. I see a rematch against ‘Cigano’ (Dos Santos). It would be the peak of my career to be able to fight a guy who knocked me out. The champion, undefeated in the UFC.”

Before that can take place Dos Santos will have to defeat Alistair Overeem this summer while Werdum has to also hold up his end of the bargain against Nelson, a 16-6 grappler with knockout power and success against some respectable foes such as Stefan Struve, Brendan Schaub, and Mirko Filipovic.

PPV action starts at 10:00 PM EST on Saturday night with prelims on Facebook/FX at 7:00 PM EST.

Check out the interview with Werdum below:


MMATraining Take: Werdum may be on to something since the UFC needs heavyweight contenders, especially with Brock Lesnar retiring, and Werdum’s only real competition in that regard is Cain Velasquez.