twitter google

Fabricio Werdum eyeing UFC title-shot after Strikeforce Grand Prix

With wins in his last three fights and an opportunity on the horizon to run his streak over notable opposition to six in a row, in addition to the UFC’s recent acquisition of Strikeforce, heavyweight Fabricio Werdum’s return to the Octagon at some point in the future seems to be a given.

The thought is not lost on Werdum who went 2-2 in the promotion before being bounced in October 2008 as he recently revealed in a conversation with Tatame where he discussed his current mindset including an interest in not only going back to the UFC but avenging his loss against Junior dos Santos, a defeat the Brazilian said he was ultimately thankful for.

“That time ‘Cigano’ defeated me it was the first time I was knocked out…I had been defeated before, but on a judge’s decision. This was the only time I was knocked out,” Werdum said of his performance at UFC 90. “He went there and proved himself to be pretty good. I want to win this Grand Prix – to earn a belt because I’ve never won one – and fight the UFC’s champion. If it’s (Dos Santos), I’d be a dream coming true. To do this unifier fight and against ‘Cigano’, a rematch, it’d be perfect.”

Ironically the knock out actually served as a wake-up call for Werdum who used the loss as motivation to improve himself as a fighter. Ten months later “Vai Cavalo” made his Strikeforce debut and hasn’t looked back since with opening round submissions of Mike Kyle and Fedor Emelianekno in addition to a Unanimous Decision over Grand Prix semi-finalist Antonio Silva.

Werdum will attempt to join Silva in the next round of the organization’s heavyweight tournament on June 18 when he faces devastating striker Alistair Overeem in Dallas, Texas. Though the two were originally set to scrap in April, and the delay will result in a twelve-month hiatus from the ring for Werdum, the 14-4-1 submission-specialist has maintained a positive attitude in regards to the situation even if he hasn’t been a fan of all the time off.

“These things happen, it happens to everybody…I don’t think it’s a bad thing to happen – it was supposed to happen this way. It’s like what happened to me when I left UFC and then I beat Fedor up, so it was supposed to happen…I believe it was meant to be this way and we’ll wait. I had slowed things down on the training, but I’m speeding things up now…I’ve beat him once and I want to do it again and prove the world I’m among the top athletes.”

“It’ll be an exact year since I last fought,” he continued. “And in my mind June is the month in which I beat Fedor so it’s my month, it’s a special month, so that’s my thought.”

Werdum may be onto something as the 33-year old is 3-0 in his career during the month of June including his professional debut in 2002 and a first-round TKO of Brandon Vera at UFC 85. However, whether or not he can make it four straight remains to be seen as Overeem has evolved into one of the sport’s most formidable heavyweights since falling to Werdum at a PRIDE event in 2006. That being said, Werdum was also quick to point out he isn’t the same fighter he was back then either.

“I’m training a lot so I can defend myself from Overeem’s (attacks), because he’s strong (and) everybody’s saying he’s evolved a lot, but I have also evolved. People say Overeem is on a good (win streak), but so (am) I. Since I left UFC I’ve only won, so he (may) have evolved but so did I. I don’t keep thinking about my opponent. Of course I watch the fights, I watch what he’s done – I have to know what he’s good at, I have to know his weakness – but I mostly worry about my training.”

PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE

9 COMMENTS
  • stone says:

    I think ol’ Fabricio needs to worry about his next fight, not the UFC belt… Hopefully he gets another fight against JDS… I wouldn’t mind seeing him get KO’d again =-)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

  • Creature says:

    i believe hes gonna get himself KO’d against Overeem, and if any of the SF Heavyweights get a UFC title shot i believe Overeem will be the 1st.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    SF wont share it’s HWs with the UFC any more than the WEC shared any of it’s fighters.
    I can’t see Werdum beating Overeem but if Alistair gets in a bad spot it could happen. I think a victory against JDS is far more likely than a victory over Overeem. Overeem is a better striker and grappler than JDS.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

  • gy614x says:

    I kind of agree with you Logic…well about the Overeem over JDS in grappling. But lets not forget that Cigano is 18-0 in Kickboxing with 18 of those wins by KO. JDS has something Overeem doesn’t and that is a Chin, and WMD’s in both fists.

    I thought Overeem was technically a better striker than Shogun, and we saw what happened there.

    if that fight ever happened I have a strong feeling we’d see good ol’ Alistair getting that flashlight waved around in his eyes, and it probably wouldn’t take too long.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Yes he is 18-0 but can you name a kick boxing opponent of his?.
    Has he fought Saki, Bonjasky, Aerts, Spong, Hari or anyone as good?.
    Overeem has twice as many TKO/KO stoppages than JDS if you don’t count cuts, has a more well rounded striking game and has more experience against top strikers than JDS.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • Sykotick says:

    JDS had almost consistently fought big names in the UFC yet Overeems biggest recent name at HW is Duffee, his last seven aren’t the world beaters that people are using to hype him.

    Yes he has a hellova striking game BUT JDS is training with some demon guys on the ground everyday in Silva and the Noguiera’s, not to mention the rumored ground game of another Junior that trains at blackhouse in Jose Aldo. Granted he is a much smaller guy BUT BJJ doesn’t discriminate when it comes to size, just sayin

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  • mu_shin says:

    Part of the lesson of Werdum is that fighters do not exist in a static state. This guy has world class grappling qualifications, continues to learn and grow in the sport, and I don’t think you can minimize the confidence boost submitting a legend can bring to a fighter. To judge him on past performance is natural and one of the ways we all conceive of a fighter’s place in the scheme of things, but by holding on to our pre-conceptions and not allowing for development in various aspects of a fighter’s game, we overlook how much these athletes can evolve over time.

    Totally agree that Fabricio will have his hands full with Overeem, but he’s has the psychological edge of having a submission victory over the Strikeforce champion. Overeem was not nearly as big and strong in 2006 as he is now, but BJJ specialists like Werdum spend their whole career learning how to avoid the power of strikers like Overeem. If Werdum can avoid the early knockout, and get tangled up with Overeem on the ground, he could surprise people once again, and go on to contend for the tournament title.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Dufresne says:

    Has it seriously been almost a year since Werdum beat Fedor? Man, it feels like it was a couple of months ago, max…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • boomnutz says:

    i’m surprised Werdum is looking ahead, maybe the Fedor win went to his a head a little. I would focus on Overeem, ESPECIALLY after a year off

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

LEAVE A COMMENT!

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Follow 5OZ