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Fabricio Werdum: Last Time I Got Overeem's Left Arm, This Time the Right

There are two days in Fabricio Werdum's life that stand out above all others in his mind, the Strikeforce heavyweight told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. One is the day his daughter was born. The other? Well, you can probably guess.

June 26, 2010. That was the day Werdum submitted MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko in the first round, handing the Russian his only true loss to date in MMA competition.

Since then, Werdum told Helwani, he's watched the fight maybe 500 times, picking up on new details with each viewing. And since locking on the submission early in the fight worked so well against Emelianenko, he's now focused on doing the same thing to Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem in the upcoming Strikeforce heavyweight tournament, and he doesn't care if the Dutchman knows it or not.

"No problem. I'm confident," said Werdum, who defeated Overeem with a kimura in the opening round of the Pride Open Weight Grand Prix in 2006. "The last time I got the left, this time the right arm."

The good news for Werdum is that when he steps in the cage against Overeem he'll be pain-free for the first time in two years, thanks to a recent elbow surgery. It may have put him out of action for several months following the biggest win of his career, but he said it was worth it after delaying the surgery for so long.

"All the time I [would] say, after the [next] fight, maybe I'll go to surgery. But this fight was a good moment. It was a special fight."

What it made it so special for Werdum was Fedor himself, who Werdum expressed great admiration for.

"This victory is a special victory, because Fedor is a special guy, a tough guy," said Werdum. "I like Fedor. I like him because Fedor never talk too much before the fight, has a lot of respect for fighters. I like Fedor."

And yet, that doesn't mean Werdum wasn't just as put off as anyone else by Fedor's stoic demeanor in the cage. He described a moment early in the fight where he landed what seemed to him to be a hard punch, yet it failed to change the expression on Emelianenko's face. Even when previous opponent Brett Rogers had broken Fedor's nose, Werdum pointed out, the Russian maintained his blank expression.

"Fedor [doesn't] show nothing in the face," said Werdum. "Everybody show the expression in the face, but Fedor don't show nothing. Nothing. ...Just [a] cold face. He has a cold face."

That's why, when Werdum locked up the triangle choke and armbar combination, he at first found it a little difficult to believe that he might actually manage to pull off a submission against the man who was, at the time, widely considered to be the world's top heavyweight.

"I know I got it," Werdum said of the moment when he slapped on the submission, "but this is Fedor."

As it turned out, not even Fedor could escape Werdum's clutches that night. Once the Russian was forced to tap, then the celebration began in earnest for Werdum. And boy, did he ever celebrate.

"It's not possible [for me] to watch tequila today," Werdum joked, hinting at the lingering after-effects of his victory party in the hotel bar. "I don't like tequila no more."

Now, after half a year out of action, Werdum said he's eager to get back in the cage for his tournament bout against Overeem, which he expects will take place in April.

Naturally, Werdum sees himself emerging from one side of the bracket and into the finals. As for who he expects to face in the tournament's final fight? None other than Josh Barnett, he said, who is one of only two fighters in the tournament (along with Brett Rogers) who Werdum has yet to face in MMA competition.

As it happens, Werdum got a chance to shake hands with Barnett when they passed each other in the AOL studios on Monday afternoon, he said. His impression of the former UFC heavyweight champ?

"A little cocky."

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