Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum triumphed over Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko in the Strikeforce Fedor vs. Werdum match up on June 26, 2010 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA. The fight went one round – 1:09 seconds to be exact, with Werdum, a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under Sylvio Behring, emerging from the short battle victorious.
As the first round began, the two circled each other, feeling each other out. Then Fedor struck Werdum in the face. Werdum fell back, tripped, and landed on his back on the mat. As the crowd went crazy thinking Werdum was hurt and Fedor was going to finish off the fight, he leaned over Werdum, who promptly grabbed his arm, got his hand on the back of his head, and locked his legs around his body for the triangle choke with arm bar.
Werdum says he went from trying to get the choke on Fedor, to the arm bar, to the choke, and back to the arm bar; readjusting slowly and surely until he finally was able to submit him. When Fedor tapped after 1:09 seconds in the ring, the crowd stood, shocked, dumbfounded, and profoundly disappointed by what just happened to their hero.
The few in the arena who were steadfast Werdum fans screamed and yelled about the power of jiu jitsu. A deliriously happy Werdum ran to his camp and hugged each coach, so excited with his win. Werdum says he always believed he could persevere and in the end he did – jiu jitsu style.
After the fight, the celebrating began, with the singing and chanting, as only Brazilians can do. With his crew around him, including his muay thai coach, Rafael Cordeiro, his jiu jitsu coach, Octavio “Rathinho” Couto, and his Werdum Combat Team partner, Lucas Pires, Werdum was on top of the world.
“It’s Werdum time!” the champion and his friends repeated over and over again.
Here is a behind the scene’s look at Werdum’s personal mardi gras celebration:
Updated at 06/27/2010 at 1:11pm ET to include this video.