Who will earn the next shot at the UFC heavyweight title?
Right after submitting Cain Velasquez at UFC 188 in Mexico City, Fabricio Werdum offered a rematch to the former champion. UFC president Dana White said that the next in line is either Stipe Miocic or Andrei Arlovski. However, "Vai Cavalo’s" coach Rafael Cordeiro believes Velasquez deserves an immediate rematch.
"It’s hard to say names," Cordeiro told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. "I believe Cain deserves a rematch because of his history as a champion. He was great. He did things in the heavyweight division nobody did, and Fabricio will start building his history in the heavyweight division.
"But if somebody has to fight, I believe it’s Cain. He deserves [it]. I’m okay with the rematch, no problem. For everything he did in the heavyweight division, I believe he deserves a rematch."
Werdum traveled to Cancun with his family to relax after the win, and Cordeiro revealed that the heavyweight champion has to heal some injuries before returning to the Octagon.
"He has a couple injuries now. He got a six-month suspension," he said. "Now he’s in Cancun with his wife and daughters, I believe next week he will be back. As soon as he’s back, we will know how long he wants to stay out. He has a couple injuries. His knee is hurt, so we have to know now."
Happy with the performance of his protégé in Mexico City, Cordeiro responded to those who claim he was only able to dominate Velasquez because of the altitude.
"I believe for sure Cain felt a little bit the air, the altitude, but at the same time Fabricio was prepared for everything and he proved in the fight how hard he worked his stand-up, and I believe his stand-up made the difference, more than the altitude," he said.
"Fabricio beat Travis and people say ‘Travis is no good at all.' Fabricio beat Mark Hunt, ‘Oh, Mark Hunt is so-so.' We beat ‘Minotauro,' ‘Oh, Minotauro is old now’. You know, people try to find excuses all the time. When we lose here (at Kings MMA), we work hard to change the result for the next fight. I think everybody has to do this.
"You have your head coach and your head coach knows what to do. I think they didn’t plan well what to do. All the people felt the altitude, that’s no excuse. Altitude is for both, not for just one guy."
Cordeiro admits that fighting in Mexico City is complicated, and felt like he was about to die when he sparred with Werdum in training.
"It’s really hard to train there," Cordeiro said. "I hold mitts for Fabricio, I spar with him, and I almost die. But sometimes, people have to know what to do inside the camp. The first fight, when Fabricio fought against Mark Hunt, we went there for two months. This time, we went there for 35 days. Fabricio got in shape two weeks before the fight. Two weeks just to adapt to the altitude. After that, it was just about the technique, and it was hard."
"We know how hard we worked for this moment and now Fabricio got the opportunity to show everybody how hard we work here at Kings MMA," he added. "It was well deserved, for everything he does."