Fabricio Werdum is still celebrating his second win at Strikeforce, where he overcame Antonio “Pezao” Silva on November 7. But he wants more.
Twice champion of the ADCC over 99kg division, the heavyweight has his mind on greater challenges: Russian Fedor Emelianenko and the heavyweight belt.
He reveals when he will fight again and explains how his training has been going, now that he represents Chute Boxe but still works with Rafael Cordeiro, the team’s former trainer. Check out the conversation Werdum had with GRACIEMAG.com.
Just after your win at Strikeforce you talked of facing Fedor. Will this fight happen?
It’s hard to say now, because he hurt his hand and should go five months without fighting. So I don’t know what is going to happen. I think I’m one fight from facing Fedor. I can’t go five months without fighting, that’s a lot of time. But we’re in the mix and it should come about some time. That’s 100% for certain.
The current champion of your division is Alistair Overeem. Wouldn’t fighting him be even better?
I still don’t understand why they’re letting the belt stay with Overeem. I know he deserved it, but that was two years ago. I should have mugged him for it by now, right? I think I’ll go over to Holland to get that belt from him. I’d tell him this, “Hand that belt over. I beat you that time in Pride (May of 2006), it’s been two years since you fought over there (at Strikeforce) and that belt is mine!” (laughs). Now seriously, I’m going to spend Christmas in Spain with my family and I’ll come back to the USA thinking of my next fight. Regardless of my opponent, in February or March I’ll fight again.
You represent Chute Boxe but remain with Rafael Cordeiro. How does that work?
In the old days there was great rivalry between gyms, but now things have changed. I represent my academy, which is Werdum Combat Team, Kings MMA, which is Rafael Cordeiro’s, and Rudimar’s Chute Boxe. Nowadays everyone trains with everyone and I was even one of the first to do this exchange, when I went to train with Cro Cop [in 2003]. At the time a lot was said about it. But today it’s normal and professionalism prevails.
You had a rough time at the start of your fight with Pezao. What is your assessment of your fight?
I was able to show how well prepared I was. Before the fight I had some injuries, which can happen to anyone. I cut my brow twice and also hurt my ribs. Even Pezao’s manager (Alex Davis) knew about my brow, which goes to show how news spreads. But now everything’s alright. It’s always good to win. If you win you’re happy, have sponsors… If you lose, you’re screwed; you have to start from scratch. A win is a step forward; a loss is three steps back.
In the end, was competing at the ADCC a help or hindrance for you MMA fight?
It was great to compete at the Abu Dhabi, even more so because I was at home there, in Spain. It helped a lot because the ADCC is a sort of World Championship without the gi. It helped me and I didn’t stop there. I fought Mike Kyle, then went on to the ADCC and then had this fight. So it was great.