The UFC heavyweight champion will put his title on the line for the first time in a rematch against Velasquez, and "Vai Cavalo" wants it to take place at Arena do Gremio, a 60,000-seat soccer stadium in his home town of Porto Alegre, Brazil.
"It would be amazing to defend my title at the Arena. I want that, of course," Werdum told MMAFighting.com. "I believe I can get more than 50,000 fans in there for my fight. Let’s break Canada’s (UFC 129) record. It was great to return to my city and be recognized by the people, everybody asking for pictures on the streets. It was awesome."
According to Werdum, the UFC will set a date and location for the heavyweight title fight next week.
"I don’t know about date yet, or where it will take place," he said. "I have a meeting with Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta next week to discuss that. I will campaign for the Arena, of course. It would be great, a huge success."
Right after his third-round submission win over Velasquez in June, Werdum offered the former champion an immediate rematch. Fans didn’t seem to like the idea, since the Brazilian dominated the wrestler in the fight, and "Vai Cavalo" ended up changing his mind. With Werdum-Velasquez 2 official, the jiu-jitsu expect isn’t bothered.
"I offered him a rematch after the fight because I respect him like I respected Fedor (Emelianenko)," said Werdum. "Those are the fighters that I respect the most in the MMA world because they show what they can do inside the cage, not by talking. After that, fans started saying Cain didn’t deserve a rematch because I dominated him, and I got into it as well. But I respect Cain. He was the best in the world one day, and I will give him a rematch, no problem."
And Werdum has an answer for those who claim he only beat Velasquez because they fought at high altitude.
"Fans will always try to find something to talk about," he said. "Everybody saw this fight, they are not blind. I dominated him completely. If Cain didn’t go to altitude earlier, that’s not my problem. I was not going to call him and say ‘Cain, you have to come earlier because the altitude will affect you a lot’. I believe there were a lot of reasons, actually: the altitude, the fact that I wanted it so bad, that he hasn’t fought for a while, but his coach said he was in great shape and would give him a worse beating than he gave ‘Cigano’, so I knew he wasn’t confident. I wanted the belt so bad, and I won it.
"The altitude helped me, of course, but that was part of my strategy as well. That’s why I went early to Mexico, stayed there for 40 days, and showed the world I was better than him. It wasn’t easy, we literally fought hard, but I had a better strategy with master Rafael Cordeiro. Some people said I could have finished him in the second round, but that was part of my strategy. I knew I was going to finish him with a guillotine. Wrestlers always escape from the thai clinch with takedowns, so I knew that was going to happen."