The Nevada Athletic Commission won’t allow Cain Velasquez to compete at Friday’s UFC 207 in Las Vegas. But Fabricio Werdum is willing to step inside the Octagon against any other heavyweight.
A day after the UFC officially announced that Velasquez won’t compete on Dec. 30, Werdum, who first heard the news through social media, told MMA Fighting that he’s waiting for a new opponent.
“We’re waiting. I’m on standby. If the UFC calls me, I’ll fight. I’m ready to fight,” Werdum said. “If the UFC says they have an opponent, I’ll fight. I’ll fight anyone, like I always did. I always fought the best. My record shows that. If I were afraid of anyone, I wouldn’t be in this sport.”
Former champion Junior dos Santos, who knocked Werdum out in dos Santos’ UFC debut at UFC 90, tweeted that Werdum turned down a fight against him at UFC 207.
According to Werdum, that’s not true.
“What ‘Cigano’ said was a bit weird,” Werdum said. “‘Cigano’ has been chasing me for a long time. You usually go after the belt, not a fighter. I think that’s weird. I wasn’t offered this (fight). He’s saying I turned it down. I’d fight him just to end this story of him chasing me.”
“Some people think he’s jealous because I became champion beating his ‘dad’ Cain Velasquez, but I don’t think that’s the case,” he continued. “I think he didn’t come out of the closet yet. I don’t have anything against homosexuals, but ‘Cigano’ needs to get out of the closet. He must have something because he won’t forget me. I already told him I’m married. Nothing against gays, but everyone does their own thing.”
Dos Santos is currently scheduled to face Stefan Struve on Feb. 19, but Werdum said he’d fight him Friday night if the UFC wants it.
“He said something yesterday, he said I’m not a good fighter. I’ll show him inside the Octagon,” Werdum said. “Put us both in there now, no problem. He thinks I’m that same Werdum from 2007. Look at both of us and see who evolved more. My game changed completely.
“I want to fight Friday. It’s hard because of the strategy, to prepare for someone on days’ notice. I’ve been thinking about Cain Velasquez for three or four months, training for him, but I’ll fight anyone. Just give me a fight.”
Werdum is unsure that a fight with “Cigano” would guarantee him a shot at the UFC heavyweight championship next, or if he would still need to fight Velasquez before getting his rematch with current champion Stipe Miocic.
The Brazilian, who mentioned in interviews that he wasn’t interested in fighting Velasquez anymore after he once again pulled out of the fight, has changed his mind after getting a call from the former champion.
“That was weird, Cain saying ‘oh, I have an injury and will undergo surgery’ before the fight. I didn’t understand that. It was weird,” Werdum said. “But it happens. I don’t blame him. Sometimes you have an injury but can still fight. But it was nice from him to call me last night saying he’s sorry, that he thought he could fight but the commission didn’t allow him. He called me apologizing for the situation. I can’t criticize him now. It happens.”