UFC Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum is preparing himself for one of the biggest fights of his career when he defends his championship for the very first time against Cain Velasquez. While the date for the fight is still up in the air, the rematch was announced earlier this month and will to take place in 2016. Until then, Werdum has been traveling the world and has signed a rather lucrative deal with Chechnya-based Akhmat Fight Club to be their ambassador.
As their ambassador, Werdum will be spending time in Chechnya training for his upcoming fight with Velasquez while fighters from the AFC will be coming to California to train with Kings MMA. Werdum’s manager Ali Abdelaziz dove into the news of his client’s signing. “Fabricio was happy to accept what ultimately was a very lucrative offer, but this deal is not just a financial arrangement,” Abdelaziz told MMA Junkie. “He was in Chechnya earlier this year, and he was treated like a king. It was an amazing experience for Fabricio, and the opportunity to partner with Akhmat Fight Club was something he didn’t want to pass up.”
Werdum was taken aback when he recently visited Chechnya and seems to be excited to go back when he trains for Cain Velasquez. “Chechnya was a great experience,” Werdum stated. “The people there were very generous, and I was treated like a real champion. I’m looking forward to going back there and help develop Chechnyan MMA.”
The Akhmat Fight Club is a government owned team whose concentration is to help build the sport of mixed martial arts in Chechnya. Abdelaziz went on to say that managers of fighters should be on the lookout for deals like this in the future.
“Honestly, I think opportunities like this are something all managers should be looking for in the sport. With the changing landscape of sponsorship opportunities, you have to think outside of the box.”
Who do you think will walk out of the octagon as champion? Will Fabricio Werdum retain his title, or will Cain Velasquez reign supreme again? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!