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

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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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