Fabricio Werdum
Vai Cavalo

Brazil

Out
Injury Suspension
Est. Return 5/9/2020
Returning at UFC 250
HeavyweightUFC
Out
February 13, 2020
Werdum (suspension) will take on Aleksei Oleinik in a heavyweight matchup at UFC 250 on May 9, MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Werdum was suspended by the USADA in September of 2018, but he'll make his return to the Octagon to face Oleinik. Oleinik is 3-3 over his last six fights, most recently defeating Maurice Greene via submission (armbar) at UFC 246 in January as he once again showcased his submission skills. Werdum carries a slight advantage in height, while Oleinik has an advantage in reach.
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Suspension reduced
HeavyweightUFC
Out
January 16, 2020
Werdum's suspension was reduced by the USADA on Thursday, Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Werdum was initially scheduled to be cleared to fight near the end of May, but he'll now be eligible to return April 1 following the reduction. Werdum's request for a release from the UFC was denied, and he said he intends to fight the final two fights of his contract once his suspension expires. The 42-year-old tested positive for multi anti-doping violations in September of 2018.
Won't be granted release
HeavyweightUFC
Out
July 1, 2019
Werdum intends to fight the final two fights of his UFC contract once his suspension expires in 2020, Helena Rebello of GloboEsporte.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Werdum tested positive for multiple anti-doping violations last September, which effectively resulted in a two-year ban from the sport. He requested his release not too long afterwards, but was apparently denied by the UFC. The former champion and ace BJJ practitioner will be 43 years old when his suspension expires in mid-2020, but he's already back in the testing pool in preparation for a comeback. A fighter like Werdum who relies primarily on his mat skills can make it into their 40s (see Demian Maia), though the ceiling may be limited at his advanced age, especially given all the firepower currently in the division.
Pursuing return to Octagon
HeavyweightUFC
Out
May 15, 2019
Werdum's manager, Ali Abdelaziz, said Tuesday that his client will re-enter the testing pool administered by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and attempt a UFC comeback, Steven Marrocco of MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The UFC handed Werdum a two-year ban last September after he tested positive for the steroid trenbolone and its metabolite, prompting the former heavyweight champion to pursue a release from the promotion earlier this year. Rather than heading to Russia to continue his fighting career, Werdum now appears to have accepted his suspension and will continue to train in preparation for a return to the Octagon when the ban expires in May 2020. At that point, Werdum will be 42 years old and more than 26 months removed from his last UFC fight.
Requests release from UFC
HeavyweightUFC
Out
January 3, 2019
Werdum (suspension) has requested a release from the UFC, Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Werdum was given a two-year ban by the UFC in September and is requesting his release so that he can fight outside of UFC. UFC likely has nothing to gain by releasing Werdum, who has a couple fights left on his contract after his suspension. Expect an update on his status when the UFC responds to his request.
Career in question after two-year ban
HeavyweightUFC
Out
September 11, 2018
Werdum has been suspended two years by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency due to a positive test for the anabolic agent trenbolone and its metabolite epitrenbolone, the official USADA site reports.
ANALYSIS
Werdum was flagged for a potential USADA violation in April, which led to his removal from this weekend's UFC Moscow card, where he was originally scheduled to fight heavyweight Aleksei Oleinik. Mark Hunt has stepped in to take his place while Werdum faces the music. Already 41 years old, the former heavyweight champion will not be eligible to compete under the UFC banner until May 5, 2020, at which point he will be 43 years old. There are older fighters on the UFC roster, and Werdum's grappling style can lead to a longer career, but it's fair to wonder what "Vai Cavalo" will have left in the tank at that point. Should he choose to, Werdum could elect to stay sharp by competing overseas or in grappling competitions, provided they do not violate the terms of his UFC contract. Should this be the end for Werdum's UFC run, he'll finish with a 3-3 mark in his last six fights, ending with a KO loss to Alexander Volkov.