Fabrício Werdum made history when he submitted Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko at the last Strikeforce show. The black belt put an end to the Russian’s ten-year unbeaten streak. In a chat with GRACIEMAG.com, Werdum comments on the achievement. He admits there’s a possibility of a rematch, but it will still take some time in coming, as the fighter should undergo surgery.
Check out the conversation:
How have you been since the win?
I’m happy for having reached my objectives. I managed to become world, Pan-American and ADCC champion. This one was an objective as well, a dream come true. I beat a guy who went undefeated for ten years, the most feared man in the world. I knew I was going to win, but not that quickly. I was really confident because I trained a lot for it. I’d never been so confident in a fight before.
In the end, did Fedor tap to the armbar or the triangle choke?
He spent a good while trying to get out and, when he tried, I would switch from the neck to the arm. But the triangle was in tight the whole time. He had no options left and I think it was a bit of both because his arm got hurt. But at the press conference he said it was the choke.
You had been saying that Jiu-Jitsu was the way to beat Fedor. Why didn’t anyone try that before?
Most everyone who had fought Fedor didn’t have such sharp Jiu-Jitsu. Perhaps Minotauro hadn’t managed to because Fedor was really explosive and slick. But, aside from him, name me one good grappler he’s faced. There wasn’t one. So everyone had to trade blows with Fedor. His specialty is punching and they had no other option.
What else did you practice to try and finish the fight?
On the ground I trained a lot of triangles, omoplatas, kimuras… It was all planned and what happened in the fight was just what I had practiced. Ratinha helped me out a lot; we studied a lot of Jiu-Jitsu.
I’m going to operate on my arm” Werdum
Everyone is saying there’s going to be a rematch with Fedor. If you could choose, would you rather face Fedor than fight Alistair Overeem for the belt?
I need some time to think. No one expected this win and it will change my life. I need to think and time. I’m going to have surgery on my arm. I have that problem that happens to a lot of boxers, even Anderson (Silva) and Mintouro, which is an inflamed tendon in the arm. I’ve been putting it off for some time and I think now is the right time. My arm doesn’t extend. It hurts a lot and I have to have this operation before the rematch. I want to make the most of this time, teach some seminars and visit my academies in Europe. I’ve got a really big group over there.
You mentioned Jiu-Jitsu a lot in this interview. Will you compete again, at least in the ADCC?
I love the ADCC; I’m a fan. For sure I’ll be there in 2011 to defend my title. I want to try my hand in the absolute as well. This arm problem I’ve been having kept me out of the absolute in Barcelona.