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Fabricio Werdum explains why he rushed in against Stipe Miocic at UFC 198: ‘It was my moment’

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Fabricio Werdum came up short in his attempt to break the UFC’s all-time record for heavyweight title defenses when he stepped in against Stipe Miocic at UFC 198. Miocic caught Werdum swarming in early flush on the chin, which dropped the Brazilian in front of 45,000 of his fellow countrymen. 

In the aftermath, Werdum took some heat for coming in so incautiously against the hard-hitting Miocic. On Monday, during an appearance on the MMA Hour, "Vai Cavalo" said he thought he had an opening to put Miocic away when asked why he attacked like he did.

"Because I thought in this moment that it was my moment," he told Ariel Helwani. "I saw this. I didn’t want to stay there and just defend, defend, defend. No, no, I wanted to attack too. For sure I wanted to finish the fight very well, very fast. But it’s so hard. It’s so hard when the guys say different things.

"I’m good man. I don’t have no injuries. I’m 100 percent. I wanted to show I’m very good in my stand up, my jiu-jitsu, my wrestling, but I didn’t have the time to show this."

The end came at just 2:47 of the first round, and stunned the amassed crowd in Curitiba. Werdum was vying to become the first UFC heavyweight to defend the title three times. Instead, Miocic took the title back to Ohio, and is now set to make his first title defense against Alistair Overeem at UFC 203 on Sept. 10 in his hometown of Cleveland.

Werdum, who said he will be shooting a kickboxing film with Mike Tyson coming up, didn’t make excuses.

"He got a very nice punch, that’s it man," he said. "It’s good for him. He got the belt."

He did say that he can’t help but look back on the film of that fight, which he’s done on multiple occasions.

"A lot, a lot," he answered when asked how many times he’d watched it. "Sometimes I just look again just for, you know…I think I was winning the fight. I had very nice kick, I was starting very well. I started very good. But, he got me, that’s it. That’s why heavyweight is very spectacular. It’s a very nice fight.

"One punch, that’s it. He got me. That’s it. I don’t say nothing about excuses."

Though Werdum said he suffered through a period of sadness as he coped with the reality of losing his title, he said he was back to his usual self again and ready to go. He even asked UFC matchmaker Joe Silva for a quick turnaround fight, which he was granted in the form of Ben Rothwell at that same UFC 203 card in October.

The reason the soon-to-be 39-year old Werdum wanted to get right back in there rather than dwell on his loss was because of how quickly the Miocic fight ended. He didn’t feel like he got to showcase his entire range of talents in that span.

"I wanted this [Rothwell fight] because I didn’t have a lot of time," he said. "I just had two minutes of fight, and I didn’t have a time for show."