One week after MMA Fighting first reported the Brazilian fighter would not be able to return to action just seven weeks after being stopped via TKO by Renan Ferreira, a result later overturned to a no-decision, “Vai Cavalo” released a statement on what stopped him from re-entering the cage.
According to the statement released by Rayssa Kussama, Werdum’s PR rep in Brazil, the fighter’s neurologist, Dr. Wuilker Knoner Campos, did tests after the Ferreira fight and decided not to allow the former UFC champ to return to training due to swelling in the brain.
Kussama did not say exactly what part of the brain in which the swelling occurred, but said it was around the temple area. That part of the head is associated with the temporal lobes, which are responsible for processing auditory information, memories, emotions and certain parts of visual perception.
“I’ve hidden many injuries to be able to fight when I was in my 20s, but now I need to prioritize my health and listen to the [doctor],” Werdum stated in the release. “I want to be able to enjoy my daughters and see them growing, and that’s the right thing to do at the moment. I’m fine, and I’ll be able to return to training soon.”
Werdum’s U.S. manager, Ali Abdelaziz, didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
Werdum won’t be able to compete for points and a spot in the heavyweight playoffs this year. It’s still unclear when he will be fully cleared to train and prepare for another fight. With Werdum out, Sayles will now meet Denis Goltsov at PFL 6.
A former UFC heavyweight champion, Werdum has amassed an impressive 24-9-1-1 record in almost 20 years as a professional MMA fighter, losing suffering only three knockouts losses to Alexander Volkov, Stipe Miocic, and Junior dos Santos.