Fabricio Werdum Challenges Francis Ngannou to Fight at Brazilian Soccer Stadium
Fabricio Werdum has entered the Francis Ngannou sweepstakes.
After Ngannou confirmed his signing with the PFL, Werdum published a video on his Instagram account challenging “The Predator” to face him at a soccer stadium in Brazil. The video shows Werdum being cheered at Gremio Arena, where he was celebrated after winning the UFC heavyweight crown in 2015.
“We brought 48,000 to Curitiba to see my fight with [Stipe Miocic] in the UFC, which is already the national record for an MMA event in Brazil and one of the top five biggest audiences in UFC history. I have no doubt that if Ngannou accepts my challenge to fight at Gremio soccer stadium we will pack the arena with 60,000 people and beat that record,” Werdum said.
Werdum says he would relish the role of underdog in a hypothetical matchup against Ngannou. It’s a position with which he is quite familiar.
“I love to fight as underdog,” he said. “I was also huge underdog against Fedor [Emelianenko] and Cain [Velasquez], and they tapped out. Ngganou has holes in his game and I’ll show that by tapping him out with my jiu-jitsu.”
The 45-year-old Werdum has not competed since his controversial PFL bout against Renan Ferreira in May 2021, which was initially ruled a TKO defeat but later overturned to a no contest when it was determined his opponent tapped earlier in the fight. Earlier this year, he revealed that he had fulfilled the terms of his existing PFL contract and was only interesting in competing again for the right offer. It appears that Ngannou’s signing has piqued his interest for a PFL return.
“We both signed with PFL [and] we are both former UFC champions,” Werdum said. “That’s the fight fans and PFL want. I’m just waiting on him to sign the contract.”
Ngannou is not expected to make his PFL debut until 2024 as he pursues potential fights in professional boxing.
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