Almost seven years ago, Fabricio Werdum met Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in PRIDE. At the time, Nogueira was the consensus No. 2 heavyweight in the world, and Werdum was fighting his idol. After 20 minutes of action, Nogueira left with a decision victory.
Fast-forward to a new place and the present time, and the torch has been passed. In a rematch, Werdum won and did so decisively, forcing Nogueira to verbally surrender to an arm bar at 2:41 of the second round.
The submission result in the main event was the eighth of UFC on FUEL 10, setting a record for the most in one night in modern UFC history.
Nogueira had his moments in defeat. Werdum pushed the pace early, only to see Nogueira get right back in his face, initiating clinches and using dirty boxing to find his mark. The pace and grind seemed to be to his liking, as Werdum looked up at the clock multiple times as the round neared its end.
But between the first and second, Werdum was able to gather himself. He opened with a series of leg kicks and then a big right hand. After Werdum tried a takedown and Nogueira attempted to counter with a guillotine, a wild scramble ensued, ending on the ground. Werdum took his back, eventually spinning to an arm bar. Nogueira attempted to defend it but eventually could not stop Werdum from snatching his arm and was forced to surrendered.
Afterward, UFC announcer Jon Anik asked Werdum if he felt he was nearing a heavyweight title shot.
"That's exactly what I want," he said. "I'm training very hard for that. I just want UFC to give me a chance to join the best in the world."
The match was Werdum's first since last June, when he beat Mike Russow via TKO. He's now 17-5-1, and after three straight wins, may be able to make a case as the next to fight for the belt after champ Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos settle their trilogy.
Nogueira continued his string of alternating wins and losses, and he's now 34-8-1 with 1 no contest.