ABU DHABI – Fabricio Werdum is keeping his options open as to where he fights next.
On Saturday, Werdum (24-9-1 MMA, 12-6 UFC), a former UFC heavyweight champion, defeated Alexander Gustafsson by first-round armbar at UFC on ESPN 14 to snap a two-fight losing streak.
After the fight, Werdum became emotional when speaking in Portuguese in his post-fight interview. The fight was the final one on his UFC contract, and the likelihood of this being his last fight with the promotion (which he hinted it likely will be) drew out feelings of nostalgia.
“The emotion was because this is my last fight in the UFC,” Werdum told reporters, including MMA Junkie, during the post-fight news conference. “I had many years with the UFC. I don’t know how many I had with the UFC, like 10 years (or) 12 years. You know? I’m a working individual – on Spanish commentaries. I think almost all of my life was here. I love UFC for sure. I want to say thank you to the UFC for many things.”
Is Werdum closing the door on the UFC altogether? Is there no chance he changes his mind and re-signs with the promotion?
Werdum isn’t ruling anything out.
“I don’t say ‘no’ because I have to talk to (my manager) Ali (Abdelaziz) first,” Werdum said.
Regardless of whether his UFC career is over or not, Werdum asserted that he is not done fighting. At 42, Werdum stated his mind is still young. A win entering free agency could increase his market value.
“Sometimes you lose the last fight in the UFC, and it’s like everything changes,” Werdum said. “You know? I don’t know if I’m staying in the UFC or not or maybe with a different (promotion). I won’t stop (fighting). One hundred percent I’m not stopping. I have a couple fights (left). I told you before, I’m very young. My mind is young.”
When asked if he’d like to rematch current Bellator heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, Werdum excitedly jumped at the proposal. Werdum became the first man to defeat Emelianenko at a Strikeforce event in June 2010. The public is still interested in a rematch, Werdum said.
“This is 100 percent (true),” Werdum said. “I want to fight with Fedor, 100 percent. I respect him a lot. I want to give this opportunity to him to fight with me again. This has history: Me vs. Fedor in 2010. Ten years later, everybody wants to see this fight. I don’t know where, but for sure I want to fight with Fedor because I respect him. In my mind, he is the best in the world.”
UFC on ESPN 14 took place Saturday at Flash Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. The entire card simulcasted on ESPN and ESPN+.
Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/07/ufc-on-espn-14-fabricio-werdum-wants-fedor-emelianenko-rematch-free-agency/