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Fabricio Werdum to face Gordon Ryan in combat jiu-jitsu match in February

Fabricio Werdum (pictured) is set to face Gordon Ryan in 2019.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Fabricio Werdum is staying active during his USADA suspension.

The former UFC heavyweight champion is set to face fellow grappling wizard Gordon Ryan in a combat jiu-jitsu match in Monterrey, Mexico, on Feb. 22, Eddie Bravo announced Tuesday night. Both Werdum and Ryan confirmed the match on social media.

Combat jiu-jitsu is a form of grappling that allows palm strikes when on the ground. According to Bravo, Vinny Magalhaes will compete in a four-man combat jiu-jiu-jitsu tournament on the same night.

Werdum is a two-time jiu-jitsu world champion and two-time ADCC gold medalist, while Ryan’s resume includes two ADCC medals (one gold, one silver), two IBJJF Pan-American golds and several EBI titles.

Earlier this year, Ryan helped Team Alpha Male win Quintet 3 by submitting Josh Barnett, Marcos Souza, Craig Jones and Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro.

Werdum made his return to the mats after a seven-year absence earlier this month, going to a draw with Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa. “Vai Cavalo’s” last appearance in grappling tournaments was at ADCC 2011, capturing a silver medal after defeating Alexander Trans, Jeff Monson and Roberto Abreu, and coming up short against Vinny Magalhaes in the final.

“Vai Cavalo” was hit with a two-year suspension by the United States Anti-Doping Agency after testing positive for the anabolic steroid trenbolone and its metabolite epitrenbolone in an out-of-competition test in April. Werdum was pulled from a UFC Moscow main event bout with Aleksei Oleinik scheduled for Sept. 15 because of the positive test.

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