Fabricio Werdum has his eyes on the UFC heavyweight title. | Sherdog.com
Fabricio Werdum kept a close eye on last Saturday’s heavyweight championship bout between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos at UFC 166.
That’s because Werdum was the color commentator for some Spanish-speaking countries and watched the fight from Octagon-side. Speaking with Sherdog.com on Monday, “Vai Cavalo” analyzed what he saw in the third bout between Velasquez and dos Santos.
“I thought it was a great fight,” Werdum noted. “‘Cigano’ remained dangerous until the fourth round, where he scored a few strikes. He punched 100-percent to knock out, since that was his chance to win the fight. Velasquez applied the game that has defined him, body-to-body. He succeeded in imposing his game again. Cigano’s takedown defense evolved a lot... but he could not move on and off the fence. It’s very difficult to face a guy like Velasquez.”
Werdum revealed that, soon after exiting the cage, Velasquez spoke with a broadcast team, of which Werdum is also part.
“After the fight, he left the Octagon and gave an interview to us. My teammates did a few questions and the director asked if I had any questions, but I had none,” said Werdum. “I just came in and said ‘Velasquez, your performance was excellent, congratulations for the fight,’ and I shook his hand. I wouldn’t challenge him because that was his moment. He was panting and had just gotten out of the Octagon, and it wasn’t the time.”
Already confirmed as Velasquez’s next challenger, Werdum discussed which weapons he’ll need to use in order to dethrone the champion.
“It’s jiu-jitsu, I have no doubt,” he said, “but I also have muay Thai, which I train with master Rafael Cordeiro, who has told me that we’re going to train hard. If we go to the ground and I need to use my guard, I don’t foresee any problems. I see when fighters lack confidence in the guard and want to stand up fast, giving their back to the opponent. The technical get-up is one of the first things we learn in jiu-jitsu, and we have to do it well in MMA. This is important. If there’s no way to do it, use the guard, sweep, try a submission.”
According to Werdum, his shot at Velasquez could come in the first quarter of 2014.
“The fight will happen in February or March, and I’ll study his game hard. I’ll train a lot. I saw an interview with him where he said he respects me a lot, that I’m a great champion, and I say the same about him. We’ll put on a great show,” said Werdum, who confessed to imagining himself beating Velasquez.
“I can visualize the scene. Sure, there will be a lot of training before, but imagine if I’m the only guy who submitted Fedor, ‘Minotauro’ and Velasquez? Then I would retire and work only as a commentator.”