UFC on Fuel TV 10 isn’t a card that’s on many MMA fans’ minds, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a lot on the line when the card goes down. The main event between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Fabricio Werdum in particular holds significance for both men.

Although both fighters have something to lose, Werdum unquestionably has the most on the line in his rematch with Nogueira. The two men have fought once before in 2006 under the Pride FC banner and Nogueira took the fight via unanimous decision. Of course, Werdum will be looking to avenge that prior defeat and own a victory over the future Hall of Famer. Yet, vindication for a prior defeat isn’t enough to declare Werdum as the fighter with the most to lose. There’s more to it than that.

Werdum is in a no-win situation. Although he’s facing one of MMA’s legendary fighters, it’s clear that Nogueira is a shell of his former self. Nogueira has alternated wins and losses since capturing the UFC title at UFC 81. Although his victories have provided small glimpses of the “old” Nogueira, his losses have been absolutely dreadful. He was thrashed by Frank Mir at UFC 92, and Mir broke the Brazilian’s arm at UFC 140 in their rematch. Nogueira’s other loss was equally dreadful for the former champion, as Cain Velasquez dropped him with a flurry of punches.

A victory over a Hall of Famer would be great for Werdum from a career perspective, but it matters little in the short-term. Werdum is widely considered a top-five heavyweight at the moment and should be facing someone like Junior dos Santos or Daniel Cormier. Instead, he’s facing an over-the-hill Nogueira. If Werdum were to lose to Nogueira, it would undoubtedly send him spiraling down the heavyweight rankings. As if the damage of a loss to Nogueira isn’t enough to worry about, Werdum should be concerned about what little a victory would do for the heavyweight contender.

Werdum looked dominant in his UFC return against Roy Nelson and quickly shot back up the heavyweight rankings. We already knew Werdum had a world-class jiu-jitsu game, but against Nelson, Werdum showcased his improving striking skills. He further showcased his stopping power by finishing the tough Mike Russow in the first round at UFC 147. Those two victories put Werdum into the heavyweight elite category and many fans were expecting to see him in a high-profile bout. Instead, Werdum chose to coach on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2 and now finds himself with some high expectations coming into UFC on Fuel TV 10.

Werdum could see his impressive Strikeforce run and UFC return to go down the drain with a loss. He will need to be dominant against Nogueira to see his stock even move a little should he emerge victorious.

With virtually nothing to gain and everything to lose, Werdum is unquestionably the fighter with the most on the line this weekend in Brazil.

Photo: Fabricio Werdum (Sherdog)

About The Author

Kyle Symes
Staff Writer

Kyle is a recent graduate of Aurora University, where he obtained a Bachelor's in Communications. Kyle resides in Illinois, just outside of Chicago. He played baseball and football in both high school and college, but is now focusing on an amateur MMA career.