Fabricio Werdum to Train with Steve Mocco at American Top Team for Cain Velasquez Bout
UFC heavyweight fighter Fabricio Werdum (right) has a good thing going at Kings MMA in Southern California; but according to legendary coach and trainer Rafael Cordeiro, Werdum and team will be traveling to Florida to train with Steve Mocco at American Top Team for additional support as the fighter prepares to challenge UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez for his belt.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
No. 1 ranked UFC heavyweight title contender, Fabricio Werdum, has found his stride inside the Octagon, winning all three of his fights since rejoining the UFC after the close of Strikeforce.
Much of his success has been on the feet, an area of Werdum’s game that has taken leaps and bounds under the tutelage of legendary Muay Thai coach, Rafael Cordeiro, of Kings MMA. Werdum’s first fight back in the UFC saw him annihilate Roy Nelson on the feet for three rounds; a performance he followed with a first-round TKO of Mike Russow at UFC 147. And after a submission victory over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira this summer, Werdum is set to face UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez for the belt.
Through all of that, Werdum’s presence at Kings MMA has been unflinching. So it’s interesting to hear Cordeiro explain the decision to take Werdum and camp across the country to train with Steve Mocco at American Top Team in Florida.
“We’re going to do totally different than what Junior (dos Santos) did,” Cordeiro told Sherdog (transcribed by MMAmania). “We believe Cain is a tough dude, everybody knows that. We’re going to do everything different. We’re going to work Fabricio’s conditioning and training. Fabricio has amazing jiu-jitsu, amazing muay-thai. But we want to figure out something different for this camp. We’re going to bring good guys to train with them. We’re going to get high level wrestlers to get the best for him. We need to move out of our comfort zone.”
And what better way to switch things up than to train with a former Olympic wrestler who holds two victories over Cain Velasquez in their senior year of NCAA wrestling.
“This is the moment to do all the best, not just inside Kings MMA but were going to try to get outside. I have good relationships with amazing coaches and I think it’s time to move out and train in another place. So, probably we’re going to move to Florida to train with the guy who beat Velasquez a couple of times; I think it’s going to be different for Fabricio. It makes all the sense that we train with him (Steve Mocco) for this fight. He knows Cain Velasquez’s game, and we’re going to do everything we can to prepare Fabricio for war. Fabricio has his mentality strong, he knows what he wants and we know what he can do. It’s time to make the dream come true.”
Antonio “Big Foot” Silva also trained with Mocco before fighting Velasquez at UFC 146, but the Brazilian was unable to utilize what he had learned in that fight (or in his next shot at Velasquez at UFC 160).
In any case, Werdum’s most sizeable advantage comes through his Brazilian jiu-jitsu abilities. Whether he will work with Mocco on offensive wrestling to enable his grappling against Velasquez – or if he will be looking to defend the champion’s top-level wrestling – remains to be seen.