Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum recently found himself called out by former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold this week. Rockhold explained on a recent podcast appearance that he and ‘Vai Calvao’ had unfinished beef from the Strikeforce days, and as a result, he would be willing to move up to heavyweight to settle that beef.
He explained the situation on UFC Tonight, saying:
“Everyone’s steaming over this new fight I brought up,” Rockhold said Wednesday night on UFC Tonight. “I think me and Werdum got some old beef from Strikeforce. He’s a guy I’ve always wanted to fight. I’ve thought it through and I like the style matchup.
“Given what’s going on in the middleweight division right now, screw that, I’m coming to heavyweight. Let’s do this.”
This was then followed up by a statement from Werdum, in which he shut down Rockhold’s callout, explaining that he has no reason to fight Rockhold. He spoke to MMAFighting:
“I only fight people, I don’t fight chickens,” Werdum told MMA Fighting after Rockhold’s comments. “He’s just promoting himself because he knows nobody is talking about him. I’m one step away from the belt. Why would I fight a chicken?”
Werdum of course, as he pointed out, is one step away from a heavyweight title fight. The heavyweight #1 contender has a heavyweight title shot just out of reach. While a UFC 211 bout with Ben Rothwell could very well have determined the #1 contender spot, Rothwell was yanked from the fight due to a USADA violation stemming from an out of competition drug test. With no opponent set to fill in for Rothwell, Werdum has been pulled from the card and left without a fight. He very well could find himself fighting the winner of Miocic vs. Dos Santos II.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/23/2017.