With his big win over Cain Velasquez at UFC 188, Fabricio Werdum has proven himself as arguably the best heavyweight fighter in MMA history. He battered the champion for three rounds before submitting him with a guillotine choke to unify his interim title with Velasquez’s regular belt and become the UFC’s undisputed heavyweight kingpin.
“It’s crazy and amazing. I trained for a long time for this – for about two years for this moment. I’m very happy that I have two belts at home now,” Werdum recalled the moment at Wednesday’s UFC Tonight show. “You saw I tried (the choke) two times and got the third one. I trained to get it. When he go there, I said thank you. I listened when he was breathing and I knew he was tired, it’s so hard to breathe there. I was tired too.”
A series of stinging comments made by Werdum led the way to the fight, including him blaming Werdum for not being “a real Mexican” and being afraid to fight him as well as an awkward encounter with Team AKA. For Werdum, that was all just a gimmick to help hyping the pay-per-view.
“I say that for guys to watch the fight,” he assured. “I respect Cain Velasquez a lot. Daniel Cormier is my good friend as well.”
The big question now is, who will be the first man to challenge Werdum for the unified belt? Many interesting match-ups could be up for grabs, e. g. rematches against Junior dos Santos or Andrei Arlovski. Werdum would prefer the latter, after a little break.
“I want to rest a little bit. I trained a lot and for a long time. I want to enjoy my family just a little bit. Maybe I’ll fight next in December. Arlovski is good. I think I won the first fight against Arlovski. He beat Travis Browne and I beat Travis, so I think, who’s the daddy? I think it’s a good fight.”
Werdum fought Arlovski at UFC 70 in 2007 and lost the fight via unanimous decision. Other losses he could redeem now, that he is the champion, are a first-round TKO against dos Santos at UFC 90 (2008) and a decision versus Alistair Overeem in Strikeforce (2011).
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