After much debating as to who heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum would face in his first legitimate title defense, it looks like he'll draw a familiar foe.
On Wednesday, UFC Tonight's Ariel Helwani reported that former champion Cain Velasquez will get an immediate rematch with Werdum, following his loss UFC 188 loss to the Brazilian in June. UFC president Dana White confirmed to UFC Tonight that Velasquez/Werdum II is officially booked, yet a time and place is yet to be determined.
This will mark the third time Werdum and Velasquez have been paired up to fight one another. The two were originally supposed to make up the main event for UFC 180 in June 2014. However, that fight was postponed when Velasquez injured himself in training, thus opening up an interim title fight between Mark Hunt and Werdum in Mexico City, Mexico.
With Werdum winning the interim title fight, the UFC then rebooked the Velasquez fight for UFC 188, which took place on June 13 at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico. Though Velasquez came in as a heavy favorite, it was Werdum who wore down and outclassed Velasquez, scoring a third-round submission (guillotine) to unify the title.
Afterwards much was made about Velasquez succumbing to the high elevation of Mexico City, which sits over 7,000 feet about sea level.
With so many heavyweights vying for title shots near the top of the division -- names like Junior dos Santos, Stipe Miocic, Andrei Arlovski and even Ben Rothwell -- Velasquez wasn't originally guaranteed an automatic rematch.