Fabricio Werdum has had a tough time getting fights as of late.
The No. 1 contender in the UFC’s heavyweight division was scheduled to fight Cain Velasquez for what it seemed to be a title eliminator bout at UFC 207 in December. However, the fight with Velasquez was scapped as the Mexican fighter was not licensed to fight by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Shortly after, in February, Werdum was scheduled to meet Ben Rothwell at UFC 211 in May, but just a month after the booking, Rothwell was pulled from the fight and was provisionally suspended by USADA for a potential UFC anti-doping policy violation.
Now, with no set fight, Werdum is eying a trilogy fight in the summer with a man he fought in two different and now-defunct MMA promotions: Strikeforce and Pride FC.
“I was very excited for the next fight, the May 13, but it happened to Ben Rothwell that USADA got to him,” Werdum told Ariel Helwani on this week’s edition of The MMA Hour. “I don’t know what happened to him, but it’s very bad because he talked a lot of shit before, and I was just waiting for the fight. Now, again, I have a lot of fights canceled, the last fight against Cain Velasquez, and now I’m just waiting for the next one. I think the next one is Overeem or Cain Velasquez, you know, probably in July.”
“I like both rematches, they both get me the title shot. I finished Overeem in 2006 in Pride FC with the kimura, and he beat me in Strikeforce, the only one time I’ve been overtrained. Funny thing, in Dallas [Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum] this time I’m waiting for the doping test and I said, ‘hey, man. I want to do the doping test so I can start the warm up,’ and they guy said, ‘No, no, no. You don’t have anything. You okay, you okay. We don’t have test here,’ and I said, ‘what!’, and Overeem was too big, he was like 100 kilos. Now, it’s one, one and I think it’s a good rematch, you know, the number three. So I’m thinking Overeem because I saw Cain Velasquez say he needed more time for recovery, again, so I think Overeem is okay for me.”
Although seeking to settle the score with Overeem, the former UFC heavyweight champion is not counting out the possibility of fighting at UFC 211. Werdum has already started his training camp and would love the opportunity to step in on short notice incase the headliners of the heavyweight title fight, Stipe Miocic and Junior dos Santos, were to suffer an injury.
“I started my camp because maybe, you know, last year I had a lot of injuries in my camp, so maybe – I don’t wan’t an injury to happen to Stipe Miocic or ‘Cigano’, for sure not – but it happens,” Werdum explained. “So I’m waiting for the fight, I’ll be there for sure to watch the fight, and if they call me, I’ll be ready for this fight.”