Fabricio Werdum will be making the walk to the Octagon on Saturday night for the final time in his career.
The former UFC heavyweight champion returned after a USADA suspension at UFC 249 where he dropped a decision to Alexey Oleynik. Although the Brazilian did not have the best showing, he will be making a fairly quick turnaround to battle Alexander Gustafsson at UFC Fight Island 3.
Werdum enters this fight on the final fight of his contract where he says he doesn’t plan on re-signing with the Las Vegas-based promotion.
“There’s no possibility (of renewing my UFC contract). All those years with the UFC have been good. We had a good relationship. We disagreed sometimes, but those things happen in a normal relationship,” Fabricio Werdum said to AG Fight (via google translate). “I’m thankful to the UFC for all these years. It’s practically where I made my career. I’ve always wanted to join the UFC and they gave me that opportunity twice. I was fired and asked to come back because I kept bothering them about it. But the cycle is over. It was a good cycle so far. Now I want to move on with my career, I want to do it my way. Maybe I’ll fight for a different company, I’ve fought for many of them, I want to have choices.
“This trajectory that I had in the UFC was very cool, it was a very good and happy moment. Twice champion, I beat Mark Hunt, then I beat Cain Velasquez, apart from other fights too. And I don’t only count the victories, of course I don’t like to lose, but the defeats also made me grow a lot,” Fabricio Werdum continued. “This part as a commentator too, eight years ago as a commentator in Spanish. It was all part of my career. We had fights, arguments, we didn’t agree on some things, I was fired (laughs). But this has passed, this is already passed, now it is a ball forward and just to thank you. I can only thank the UFC for all these years of victories.”
Fabricio Werdum won the heavyweight title over Cain Velasquez but never defended it as he lost to Stipe Miocic in his next fight. For the Brazilian, he said he is glad his final UFC fight will be against Gustafsson as this is an opponent he picked.
Regardless, win or lose on Saturday night, Werdum’s time as a UFC fighter will be over. But, perhaps a promotion like Bellator or PFL will sign the big-name heavyweight.
Are you surprised Fabricio Werdum won’t re-sign with the UFC?