CURITIBA, Brazil -- UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum tends to change his walkout song depending on where he’s fighting, and "Vai Cavalo" decided to honor a Brazilian legend before his UFC 198 title defense against Stipe Miocic.
Werdum fights for the first time in his home country as champion on Saturday night, and chose a song that Globo TV played after Brazilian drivers won F-1 races, and became especially popular due to three-time F-1 champion Ayrton Senna’s success in the late 1980’s.
"When I was a kid, I woke up listening to this song," Werdum told the media in Curitiba. "Sometimes I didn’t even watch the race, but I knew he won when I heard that song, and I woke up happier. On May 14, I’ll be able to honor him. It’s going to be great. Fans will love it."
The UFC heavyweight champion wants to become an idol in his country, but won’t compare himself to Senna.
"I won’t say (I’m) the Senna of MMA, but I can say I was able to fulfill a dream of being carried atop a firetruck in Porto Alegre after winning the UFC title. That was a special moment for me," he said. "I want to be remembered just as Fabricio Werdum, just the way I’ve always been."
The last Brazilian fighter to choose the "victory theme" as his walkout song in the UFC was Fabio Maldonado, exactly when he lost to Stipe Miocic in 35 seconds in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
"I don’t care about that. My faith and energy are bigger than this," Werdum said. "Maybe Maldonado was a bit unlucky, but I’m not. I will walk out with the energy from the fans and not care about this."