After a lengthy hiatus due to a suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum is set to return to the cage against fellow grappling specialist Alexey Oleynik. The pair will collide at UFC 250 on May 9 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
News of this bout was first reported by Evelyn Rodrigues and Raphael Marinho of the Brazilian publication Combate.
Fabricio Werdum has not fought since March of 2018, when he was knocked out by Alexander Volkov. He was scheduled to return to the cage against Oleynik later that year, but tested positive for the banned substance trenbolone and its metabolite epitrenbolone following an out-of-competition urine test. He was then handed a two-year suspension by USADA.
Following his suspension, Werdum claimed USADA offered him a reduced term if he informed on his fellow fighters. While he initially claimed to have declined this offer, he later “received a reduction from the otherwise applicable period of ineligibility due to substantial assistance,” according to a release from USADA, which implies he reconsidered.
Ever since his suspension was reduced, Werdum has been vocal about his desire for a rescheduled fight with Oleynik.
“Congratulations @oleynikufc all my respect for you BUT I think my JiuJitsu it’s better, let’s dance you can be my special guest for my return in the UFC,” Werdum wrote on Twitter shortly after Oleynik submitted Maurice Greene on the UFC 246 main card.
Oleynik, on the other hand, has seemingly welcomed the challenge all the while.
The good news is that the pair will imminently have the opportunity to test their grappling chops against one another, giving the fans in Brazil and those watching around the world an endlessly compelling matchup in the process.
Who do you think will come out on top when Fabricio Werdum and Alexey Oleynik collide in Brazil this May?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/13/2020.