Fabricio Werdum did it again.
The first man to submit Fedor Emelianenko, "Vai Cavalo" became the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion by tapping Cain Velasquez with a guillotine choke Saturday night in Mexico City, but don’t say he did that because Velasquez wasn’t ready for the altitude.
Right after the fight, Velasquez said he had no excuses for his loss, but traveling to Mexico City just two weeks before the fight "maybe wasn’t enough". Speaking with MMAFighting.com, Werdum’s coach Rafael Cordeiro said the new champion beats Velasquez everywhere.
"Werdum fights Cain Velasquez 10 times, he wins 10 times," Cordeiro said. "I think people should stop finding explanations for results. If you lost, you lost, go back to the gym and train. It’s a sport. Got a bad result? Train harder. The altitude was the same for everyone.
"The fight was announced and everybody knew they would have to deal with altitude, so go there one month earlier. But even if you go there one month before, that’s now a guarantee that you’re going to win. You have to be prepared to fight. We always believed in Werdum, and today he proved he’s the best fighter on the planet."
Werdum moved his entire camp to Mexico 35 days before UFC 188, and the final month of his camp was entirely dedicated to acclimate to high altitude.
"We trained hard for that. Our camp started two years ago, when they first booked the fight," Cordeiro said. "We went to Mexico early to work on his cardio, but the technical training was basically done when we got there. We just had to adapt to the altitude and work on his cardio."
"Vai Cavalo" was a heavy underdog against Velasquez, but like when he beat Fedor Emelianenko and Travis Browne, being doubted was motivating.
"That keeps you motivated. You want to prove them wrong," Cordeiro said. "But the important is that we believe in our work, our families believe in our work. People doubt because they don’t follow your work every day, so they have no information on what you are doing. We talk because we know, we see what the athlete is doing every day."
The only man in the history to beat former PRIDE and UFC champions Fedor Emelianenko, Cain Velasquez and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Werdum could be considered the best heavyweight of all time. Cordeiro won’t call him that, though.
"I would be too cocky if I call him the best of all time, but I can say Werdum beat all the heavyweight myths," he said. "He beat Fedor, he beat ‘Minotauro’, and he beat Cain. They are legends of the sport, and Werdum beat them all. He submitted the three best heavyweights in the history, and he’s at the top of the world today."
Werdum could have the chance to avenge his last UFC loss if the promotion matches him up against Junior dos Santos for his first title defense, but the Kings MMA head coach believes "Cigano" and the other heavyweight contenders should fight each other to determine the next in line.
"Werdum is in a good position to wait right now," Cordeiro said. "I believe these guys will have to fight each other to see who’s the No. 1 contender. Werdum earned this, he fought the best in the division to get there. Now they will have to fight each other. We will wait for the UFC to make the call."