Former UFC heavyweight champion, Fabrício ‘Vai Cavalo’ Werdum will make his Octagon return this May, on home soil, as he takes on veteran grappler, Aleksei ‘The Boa Constrictor’ Oleinik at UFC 250 in Sao Paulo. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu standout clashes with the Ezekiel choke specialist, Oleinik – in what promises to be a showcase of two of the greatest grapplers the heavyweight division has ever seen, on paper at least. News of the pairing was first reported by Combate reporters, Evelyn Rodrigues and Raphael Marinho.
Porto Alegre native, Werdum, seen his two-year retroactive suspension reduced by USADA recently, after providing substantial assistance to the anti-doping agency. The 42-year-old was handed a ten-month blockade – stemming from a failed drug test after a sample provided by the Brazilian tested positive for the banned substance, trenbolone. The Kings MMA product last competed in the main event of UFC Fight Night London back in March of 2018, losing via a penultimate-frame knockout to Alexander Volkov. Werdum was, in fact, preparing for a meeting with Oleinik when he was flagged by USADA for a potential anti-doping violation.
Seventy-two fight veteran, Oleinik, recently finished Maurice Greene at UFC 246 in January, locking up a taught armbar in the final seconds of round two. The American Top Team trainee is the proud owner of an incredible forty-six separate submission triumphs and has been competing professionally since 1996. Since his Octagon birth back in 2014, Oleinik has managed wins over Mark Hunt, Travis Brown, Junior Albini, and Jared Rosholt to name a few.
The polarizing grappling expert, Werdum, is a former interim and undisputed heavyweight champion, holding victories over the aforementioned, Mark Hunt, wrestling ace, Cain Velasquez, kickboxing icon, Alistair Overeem, fellow countryman and grappling player, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, the heavy-handed ‘Bigfoot’ Silva – and maybe most remarkably, slapped a triangle on Fedor Emelianenko back in 2010 during his time with Strikeforce, becoming the first mixed-martial-artist to legitimately beat ‘The Emperor’. in the process.
UFC 250 takes place on May 9th. from the Ginásio do Ibirapuera arena, and is expected to be headlined by a bantamweight title bout between Henry Cejudo, and former featherweight best, José Aldo. At 135-pounds, Ketlen Vieira looks to return to winning ways when she meets with Marion Reneau, while Bethe Correia also makes her return, as she tackles Pannie Kianzad. In heavyweight action, Augusto Sakai clashes with Blagoy Ivanov.