After it was announced that Cain Velasquez was out of his UFC 196 main event scrap with Fabricio Werdum, the UFC announced that Stipe Miocic would fight Werdum for the heavyweight title.
Shortly after that announcement, Fabricio Werdum withdrew from the bout, also citing a back injury. After a brief scramble that saw Nate Diaz offer to fight Anthony Pettis on short notice, the UFC decided to promote the co-main event fight between Johny Hendricks and Stephen Thompson to the main event.
In an interview with Combate, Fabricio Werdum spoke about his decision to withdraw:
“Not fighting was the best decision of my life. Not fighting Velasquez nor Miocic or anybody. Of course I’m sad I’m not going to fight, I had a back injury, but at the same time I’m happy because I’m able to see the big picture. It’s just a phase.
Some people said some really bad stuff about me. Really bad. Others, like relatives and friends, supported me. I thought about how cruel people can be. I don’t second guess my choice, I’m sure it was the best for me. I was criticized when I didn’t even lose. I decided not to fight because of my health, in order to keep fighting in the future. Can you imagine if I ended up without a much more serious injury, like ending up paraplegic or something like that? I wondered if those people would still care about me afterwards or it’s just because I have the belt now?
I thought about Anderson Silva and Jon Jones, with the drug problems. Ronda Rousey, the way everyone just attacked her. I didn’t lose and everyone is attacking me. It was a great decision. It allowed me to see who is who and who’s with me when the hard times come. I love to fight and to put on a show. These people who criticized me should look at themselves and their lives. I just needed to get this out my chest, but I’ll say it again. Choosing not to fight and thinking what was best for me was the best decision of my life.”
Werdum caught a bit of criticism for his decision to withdraw. What do you think about it? Sound off below PENN Nation!