Earlier this year, the MMA community was left stunned as UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum was knocked out cold by Stipe Miocic, who landed a spectacular counter-punch that knocked out Werdum.
Tonight at UFC 203 in Cleveland, Ohio, ‘Vai Calvao’ will have the opportunity to return to the win column and potentially earn himself a title shot against the winner of Stipe Miocic vs. Alistair Overeem. A win for Werdum, who is ranked as the #1 contender on the UFC’s official heavyweight rankings, ahead of former champion Cain Velasquez, would likely cement Werdum’s place at the top of the heavyweight division.
Ahead of the fight, Werdum says fans won’t be seeing his signature funny face before the fight He spoke to MMAFighting to discuss the change in attitude going into what he believes is the biggest fight of his career:
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“I need this victory. It’s important for my goal to fight for the title again,” Werdum said, per Guilherme Cruz of MMAF. “I deserved an immediate rematch since I was coming off six wins in a row, but I knew the UFC wouldn’t give it to me. Winning this fight, I will deserve it. I will do everything I can to put on a spectacular fight to earn another title shot.”
“People associated that happy face campaign to the knockout, so it’s not the moment to do that again,” he said. “I will always joke around, but the happy face is in the past. I’d do something different. But talking more at the post-fight press conference helps a lot, for sure. Fans like that, some trash talk.”
“I can’t be overconfident in this fight,” he said. “I never entered a fight overconfident. My losses were based on things I did in training, and luck also plays out during the fight. I’m coming off a loss so I can’t be overconfident. I might have a slight advantage because I won the last fight, but it’s nothing big.”