This Saturday, on the main card of the stacked UFC 216, former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum will step into the cage with hulking Houstonian Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis. If Werdum wins this fight, he feels he deserves a shot at reigning UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, the man he relinquished the divisional crown to back in 2016.
“I deserve (a title shot),” Werdum said at Wednesday’s UFC 216 media day (via MMAJunkie). “Stipe (hasn’t fought) for a long time. I don’t know how long, but he don’t fight for a long time. I think all three. Me, [Alistair] Overeem and Francis [Ngannou] can go for the title shot. I think maybe, maybe, if Derrick Lewis beats me (he can get one). But he doesn’t deserve it at this moment to go for the title shot.
“I think a good fight, a good submission, a good knockout, fans will say, ‘Werdum, you’re the next one.’ … I believe I should go for the title shot again.”
Werdum, of course, is riding a close decision loss to Overeem, who claims he has been promised a title shot with a win over Francis Ngannou at UFC 218.
“Yes,” the hulking Dutchman said on The MMA Hour, when asked if he’d been guaranteed a title shot by the UFC.
“(It’s) logical thinking,” he continued. “I’m ranked No. 1 now, so the way (I see it), I would be eligible to fight for the belt now, but I also stated that in previous interviews if I need to run through somebody else before, then we’re gonna do that. That is what it is right now. Again, I’m a fighter, I like to be active. To me, that is the best. Some fighters, they are not fighting for a year or a year and a half. I just need to get back in there every four or five months.”
Who do you think deserves the next shot at Stipe Miocic? Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem, Francis Ngannou, or somebody else?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/5/2017.