The war of words between former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, and former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum has picked up steam this week after Rockhold called out Werdum for a heavyweight scrap on UFC Tonight, saying:
“Everyone’s steaming over this new fight I brought up. 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.”
Rockhold of course is coming off a UFC 199 loss to Michael Bisping on two weeks notice which saw him drop a 1st round KO to ‘The Count’, and also saw him lose the middleweight title. Since then he was forced out of his ‘UFC Fight Night: Melbourne’ scrap with Jacare Souza back in November, and has been absent from the Octagon since.
Werdum responded to Rockhold’s callout during an interview with MMAFighting, saying:
“I only fight people, I don’t fight chickens. 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?”
Rockhold has now since released a statement on Werdum’s response, saying:
@fabriciowerdum is trippin if he thinks hes close to UFC title. U r the last person they want n there. I'll make u look worse than usada did
— Luke Rockhold (@LukeRockhold) March 23, 2017
Werdum of course was set to fight Ben Rothwell in a highly anticipated UFC 211 showdown, however Rothwell was pulled from the fight as the result of a failed random drug test, and Werdum was subsequently pulled from the card after the UFC opted to not find a replacement opponent for the former heavyweight champ.
So far no word yet on when, or if, the UFC will look to book Werdum for another heavyweight fight, or wait for him to potentially fight the winner of UFC 211’s Stipe Miocic vs. Junior Dos Santos fight.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/23/2017.