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Fabricio Werdum not retired from MMA, but ‘will focus 100 percent on boxing’ going forward

UFC 203 photos
Fabricio Werdum is a former UFC heavyweight champion.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Fabricio Werdum wants to join the trend and make the transition from MMA to boxing, and he is doing it for another championship.

Away from the cage since getting knocked out by Renan Ferreira in his PFL debut in May 2021, Werdum said he’s not retired from MMA, but it is no longer his focus.

“I don’t like the word ‘retired’ or ‘stopped fighting,’” Werdum said on a virtual press conference with Brazilian reporters on Wednesday, two months after saying he would no longer compete in MMA. “For us, fighters, it’s very hard to stop doing what you love. I’ll completely change my focus.”

Werdum’s PFL loss was quickly overturned to no-contest after the commission concluded Ferreira tapped to a guillotine choke moments before.

Werdum is not known for his boxing in MMA, but he managed to become a dangerous striker over the past decade under the tutelage of Rafael Cordeiro, knocking out fighters like Mark Hunt in addition to a number of submission victories against legends like Cain Velasquez, Fedor Emelianenko and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

“When I set out to become jiu-jitsu champion, I did it – in the UFC, I also did it,” Werdum said. “I don’t have that title in boxing, and I want to dedicate 100 percent to boxing because I want that title. I was champion in everything, except boxing. I never competed in boxing, and I want to add another belt on the wall.”

“I didn’t stop fighting [MMA] – I just changed my focus completely,” he added. “I will focus 100 percent on boxing, but I won’t stop fighting MMA to focus on boxing.”

Asked if he would consider competing in bare-knuckle boxing, Werdum said he had conversations in the past with BKFC for a potential bout, but it didn’t come to fruition. With fellow UFC veteran Ben Rothwell joining the promotion now, “Vai Cavalo” said he’s open to the idea, but only if he’s paid seven figures to step into the ring.

Regardless of when and where he next competes, Werdum said he will be ready to become world champion in boxing the first time he enters the squared circle.