Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum says talks are in advanced stages for a rematch with Fedor Emelianenko in Bellator.
The 43-year-old Werdum recently became a free agent following a submission win over Alexander Gustafsson on Fight Island in July. The long-time MMA heavyweight veteran reportedly spoke to several promotions in his foray into free agency, but it appears the one that most figured made the most sense, Bellator, has made the biggest push to sign him.
Speaking to Canal Encarada in a recent interview, Werdum says that his manager Ali Abdelaziz has been in contact with Bellator president Scott Coker and matchmaker Rich Chou, and at this point, Werdum is just waiting for Emelianenko to accept the rematch.
“(The talks) really are advanced. Ali went there last week, had the talk, and now it’s a matter of Fedor accepting. And he said the other day in an interview that he wanted to do this rematch as well. Since I have a huge respect for Fedor, I’d definitely give him a rematch — not only for that, but also the financial side, the promotion, the whole history we had,” Werdum said (via MMAFighting.com).
Werdum and Emelianenko met for the first time a decade ago in Strikeforce. In one of the biggest upsets in MMA history, Werdum submitted Emelianenko with a first-round triangle armbar. The loss would mark the start of the downfall of Emelianenko’s MMA career as he would go onto lose two more fights to Antonio Silva and Dan Henderson. Werdum, meanwhile, would eventually return to the UFC after the promotion purchased Strikeforce.
With both Werdum and Emelianenko getting up there in age, both men are looking for big fights at this latter stage of their respective careers. A rematch always made the most sense and based on this latest news, it sounds like it’s close to becoming a reality.
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