Former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum, who is currently serving a two-year suspension by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after failing an out-of-competition drug test in 2018, is looking for the promotion to grant him an early release from his contract so he can fight in other promotions.
Werdum was interviewed on Thursday night with Portal do Vale Tudo and said that his manager, Ali Abdelaziz, is currently in negotiation with the UFC to secure an early release from his contract, which still has two fights remaining (transcribed by MMA Fighting):
”My idea is to do the right thing, which would be rescind my contract with the UFC,” Werdum said. “Ali is a manager that defends us really well. He has a lot of famous fighters, many people, and to me he’s the best manager right now, the one with the best direct contact with the UFC.”
Financially, a break with the UFC may prove costly for the Brazilian as it could mean he would lose his lucrative gig as a commentator for the Latin American market which “Vai Cavalo” says nets him a guaranteed $260,000 a year.
Werdum’s last appearance inside the Octagon was a TKO loss to Alexander Volkov in March. The 41-year-old was scheduled to face off against Alexey Oleinik in September when he tested positive for a banned substance.
”What I would really like right now is to be free, that the UFC would have consideration with me and release me,” Werdum said. “It’s a matter of Ali talking with (White) now. Ali really has a good friendship with Dana White. It’s not only up to Dana. They always say that, and I go talk to someone else and they say it’s not only up to them as well, it’s that game. I obviously love fighting in the UFC, but after this (situation), this unfair doping, I would like to fight in other promotions.”
Werdum said as part of the negotiation to get a release from the UFC is that he won’t fight again in the United States, in particular for Bellator MMA who is the UFC’s biggest competitor in the North American market.
“I already told the UFC, I’ll sign a term that I would not fight in the United States anymore,” Werdum said. “I’d fight overseas, Japan, Russia, Europe, wherever, but I wouldn’t fight in the United States to cause no harm. I would sign that to be released. I just want to be free to do what I want, which is fight. It’s not about money. I still have a lot to show. I’m 41, but I feel like a kid.”