The former UFC heavyweight champion came close to finishing Overeem in the third round of their co-main event bout in Las Vegas on Saturday, but that’s the only round judges scored in his favor. In the end, Overeem was declared the winner by majority decision.
The Brazilian now holds a 1-1 record after losing the UFC belt to Stipe Miocic in May 2016, but will file an appeal with the Nevada State Athletic Commission to overturn the decision loss.
"The athletic commission gives us a chance to appeal, so I want to see what happens,” Werdum told MMA Fighting. "I have the right to appeal because I don’t want this loss on my record. I’m sure I won because I won the first and the third rounds, and lost the second one.
"When I lose a fight I admit it, but this one… The crowd booed him, I received a lot of messages. Everyone saw I won. You saw my face after the fight, I couldn’t believe I lost. I was surprised."
Overeem has won two out of three fights against Werdum, losing via submission in PRIDE and scoring decision wins in the Strikeforce and UFC cages. “Vai Cavalo" clearly disagrees with the result of their most recent meeting, and is open to a fourth fight if the Nevada commission doesn’t overturn the decision loss.
"A fourth fight would be good if I appeal and it doesn’t change the result,” Werdum said. "My goal is the belt, and if he’s on my way, I think it would be good to fight him a fourth time. I’d like to fight him a fourth time to show the reality, what really happened. I believe I won. If it’s worth it to fight a fourth time to get to what I want, the belt, that would be interesting, for him.
"I always say that a loss it three steps back and a win is one step forward, but the way it was, I think it was only one step back. I believe I won, but the official result was a loss. I have a loss in my record."
Werdum is unhappy with the facts that all three judges gave his opponent a 10-9 in the opening round. When the fight was over, the Brazilian was confident his hands would be raised.
"I was upset with the result because I expected the win,” Werdum said. "I believe that mistakes happen in every sport, not only in MMA. There might have been a mistake. I was confident I won because I was more aggressive standing, pulled guard, took him down. He was defending most of the time. The decision is not Overeem’s fault. He wouldn’t say 'I don’t want this victory', but I don’t think he deserves to fight for the belt now. It’s not fair.
"I thought I won the first round by a small margin. I hit him more, attacked him more in the first round. The second round was his because even though I attacked him more, I pulled guard twice and maybe that influenced the judges. So it was one round each, like master Rafael Cordeiro told me after the second round. He said I won the first and lost the second, so ‘Fabricio, let’s work harder now.’ I listened his advice and scored a knockdown, was close to knocking him out. I don’t know how it was a 29-28 for him.”
Asked if he regrets going for a takedown in the third round moments after rocking Overeem standing, Werdum says it was part of his strategy.
"People said I should have continued hitting him,” Werdum said, "but if I continued hitting him and didn’t get the knockout, people would say now that I should have gone for a takedown because I’m a jiu-jitsu fighter. I took him down and kept hitting him, I kept working on top."
Uninjured after the three-round fight, Werdum hopes to be back in action at least once again before the end of the year after having fights cancelled in December and May, when Cain Velasquez and Ben Rothwell were pulled from UFC 207 and UFC 211, respectively.
"I want to fight again this year,” Werdum said. "I was away from a long time and I don’t like that. I’d like to fight at least three times a year, that would be the ideal. I’d like to fight again in November, so I have enough time to rest after the training camp, enjoy my family for a while, and do a few things scheduled outside the cage in Brazil."