Fabricio Werdum dominated Roy "Big Country" Nelson for 15 minutes in a heavyweight battle at UFC 143 on Saturday night in Las Vegas. Although Nelson was game, Werdum was simply too much for him. Werdum was favored, but the biggest surprise in the fight was how easily Werdum won the stand-up battle: His muay Thai striking looked tremendous.
All three of the judges scored it 30-27 for Werdum.
"I know Roy Nelson is a very tough guy," Werdum said afterward. "Just wait until the next fight."
Early in the first round they went to the ground and Werdum got Nelson's back, and it looked like Werdum might win by quick submission. But Nelson did a good job of getting free and getting back to his feet. Unfortunately for Nelson, from there Werdum turned Nelson's nose into a bloody mess with some huge knees to the face from a Thai clinch. Nelson deserves credit for just making it out of the first, but it was a round Werdum won handily.
In the second round Nelson did better, landing some overhand rights and starting to feel himself standing up, although Werdum also connected with more knees and kicks and probably did enough to win a closer second round.
At the start of the third Nelson actually attempted a standing guillotine choke, but it was clear that Werdum wasn't going to tap, and once he broke free of that he continued to control the fight standing up.
It was Werdum's first fight in the UFC since he lost to Junior dos Santos in October of 2008, and it was a very impressive performance. He showed that he's one of the top heavyweights in the world.