01 Jan With UFC future uncertain, Fabricio Werdum eyes rematch with Fedor Emelianenko
Fabricio Werdum made the most of his final contracted UFC fight. The former heavyweight champion submitted Alexander Gustafsson at Saturday night’s UFC on ESPN 14 event in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
Following the victory, “Vai Cavalo” was quite emotional in his interview with Dan Hardy. Werdum spoke with the media backstage during the UFC on ESPN 14 post-fight press conference to explain what that moment meant for him.
“It was emotional, because it was my last fight with the UFC,” Werdum said. “I’ve been here 10, 12 years. I’ve been working doing the Spanish commentary, and (it feels like) I’ve spent all my life here. I love the UFC, and I want to say thank you for many things. And, for sure, I’ve had problems, too. It’s normal (to have problems), and I want to say thank you to the UFC.”
While it may have been the last fight on his deal – and he stated prior to the Gustafsson bout that he didn’t plan to stick around in the promotion – Werdum admits he hasn’t made a decision on his next move.
“I won’t say no,” Werdum said in regards to possibly re-signing with the UFC. “I just want to enjoy this victory, first.”
Since dropping the belt to Stipe Miocic at UFC 198, Werdum has gone 4-3 inside the octagon. Earlier this year, The Kings MMA product returned to action at UFC 249 following a reduced suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency for “substantial assistance” and dropped a split decision to Aleksei Oleinik after two-plus years on the sidelines.
Werdum made the decision to gamble on himself, and he believes it paid off in a big way.
“Sometimes you lose the last fight in the UFC and everything changes,” Werdum explained. “I don’t know if I’m staying in the UFC or not. One-hundred percent, I’m not stopping the fights. I’m 42, but my mind is young. If you lose your last fight in the UFC, people don’t want to give you the good money. They don’t. With the victory, it’s a complete difference.”
Whether or not Werdum sticks around with the UFC is unclear. However, he does have his next booking set, as he will face Marcus Buchecha in a grappling bout in September, which will take place in Brazil.
And in terms of his MMA future, there is a rematch that’s a decade in the making: Fedor Emelianenko, whom Werdum famously submitted under the now-defunct Strikeforce banner in 2010.
“I want to fight Fedor, a lot,” Werdum stated. “I respect him a lot, and I want to give him the chance to fight me again. This is history, me and him, (from our first fight) in 2010. Ten years later, everyone wants to see this fight. I don’t know where, but for sure I want to fight Fedor because I respect him, and in my mind, he’s the best in the world.”