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UFC 143 main card recap: Fabricio Werdum impressive in win over Roy Nelson

Fabricio Werdum made the most of his first fight since returning to the UFC, battering Roy Nelson over three rounds with a well-rounded attack that showed off his improved striking skills on his way to a unanimous decision victory.

The fight started fast-and-furious for Werdum, who wasted little time establishing his kicks, thwarting the offensive attack of Nelson. After a slip by Nelson, Werdum quickly took the back and worked for a submission attempt. Nelson was able to fight off the choke and work his way back to his feet.

Once there, Werdum inflicted damage in the clinch, firing off brutal knees up the middle and drawing blood from the nose of Nelson. “Big Country” tried to counter the knees with uppercuts but Werdum’s strength in the clinch proved more effective as he continued to land effectively. After a break, Nelson came forward and clipped Werdum with a right hand that sent him to the canvas. Nelson dove into the dangerous guard of Werdum, fighting off an armbar attempt before both fighters got back to their feet.

The second round saw Werdum continue his assault with kicks and knees, as Nelson fired off uppercuts and tried desperately to land his looping right hand. The pace slowed, but Werdum continued to score with his leg kicks. Nelson came back with a nice combination, but Werdum countered with more kicks to the leg and to the body to close out the round.

In the final round, Werdum shot in for a takedown, but got stuffed, ending up in a standing guillotine. Nelson gave up on the submission after a few seconds, as both fighters disengaged and reset. Werdum finished the round strong, mixing his kicks with combinations as Nelson tried to score with his right hand.

With scores of 30-27 across the board, Werdum was awarded the unanimous decision victory and moves to 15-5-1 overall and 3-2 in the UFC.

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