Dana White Prefers Fabricio Werdum to Stay Active, Not Wait for Cain Velasquez

December 27, 2013
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Fabricio Werdum_StrikeforceUFC president Dana White is fairly certain Fabricio Werdum will fight again before facing heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez for the title.

White said on Thursday in Las Vegas that a recent meeting with Werdum gave the No. 1 heavyweight contender the understanding that UFC brass would prefer to see him compete while the injured Velasquez heals from shoulder surgery.

“We met with him a couple weeks ago,” White told reporters, following the UFC 168 pre-fight press conference. “I think he understood where we were on that thing and we wanted him to fight.”

White explained that similar experiences in the past have shown that waiting for the champion to heal doesn’t foster the best results for No.1 contenders. To prevent any unfortunate circumstances for Werdum, White would prefer he mixes it up with Saturday’s winner between Josh Barnett and Travis Browne.

“Yeah, that’s what we’re planning,” White said, when asked if the plan is to match Werdum with the UFC 168 winner.

White remained unclear about Werdum’s position in wanting to fight the Barnett vs. Browne winner or wait for Velasquez. A request for comment from a Werdum representative went unanswered at the time of publication.

A source close to the fighter told MMAWeekly.com two weeks ago that Werdum was “thinking about his options” and would make a decision by the following week. The Brazilian heavyweight was traveling at the time of the report, and is yet to make a public statement about the desire for his next fight.

Ask White, however, and he’ll tell you that Werdum waiting out Velasquez’s rehabilitation makes no sense. You just never know, the UFC executive said.

“He’s gonna fight. We saw what happened with guys like Rashad [Evans] and other people, when you sit around and wait,” White explained. “He could get hurt again and you could be out two years or whatever. It just makes no sense.”

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  • Ufc junkie

    Awesome fight would love to see Barnett or Browne fight him!!! I think Barnett has the best chance of anyone in the top to take the belt from Cain

    • I think Barnett vs Wedrum is a more exciting match up. They both can strike but if the fight goes to the ground it would be an even better display of technical skills. Catch wrestling vs BJJ.

      • deepgrim

        i feel the ground battle there is only interesting if barnett is on top. verdum on top i feel would be too good for barnett on the ground

        • This is very true. Good call. I could only hope for good transitions, sweeps and a fast paced scramble. I guess we’ll see though.

          • deepgrim

            i think it is more likely that barnett would get top position anyway. good thing there is that he doesnt totally persue a submission hes happy pounding the head of ya- and then when you you leave yourself open defending yourself he is all over the submission. i think he will get the victory over browne but ya can never be sure with the heavys

          • Indeed I see him pressuring Browne all up in his face. Travis only has that one loss to Bigfoot so I won’t count him out. He was getting outclassed by Overeem but he survived with his toughness but let’s see how he does with Josh cause that fight can go everywehre.

          • deepgrim

            travis just sent a message out there. he looked good, cant believe the finish again

          • I don’t know who can handle this guy right now. He’s on a roll. Let’s see if Werdum can get this to the ground and hold him there. Not to underestimate his striking.

    • JDMMA

      really? Barnet fought Cormier (who is much slower & smaller than Cain) last year and it was one sided beating… Barnett got no chance beating Cain or JDS

      • ufc junkie

        who else is there at heavyweight dc light heavy weight who do u give a better chance than barnett in that was his first lose in yrs

  • bajafox

    Makes perfect sense for him to fight again. His last 3 wins are Nog, Russow and Nelson, hardly a winning streak to prove #1 contender. He should absolutely fight the winner of this fight to prove his status. The loser should get JDS to see where he stands in all of this. He likely won’t get another shot anytime soon but some people still consider him #2 to Cain

  • TheCerealKiller

    Earning a title shot for beating Nog, Russow and Nelson is a joke! Both Browne and Barnett would smash him.


    Werdum needs to fight JDS and prove he can strike, otherwise Barnett vs Brown deserve a shot at the title

    • deepgrim

      i think verdum is worried about losing his number 1 contender spot, where as dana is worried if he doesnt fight in a year its going to be hard to get fans interest in the fight when it does happen. I think the problem of having to fight jds to get to cain is that nearly no one in the division is good enough to beat him and that just leaves jds v cain repeatily which i wouldnt mind but i think most fans would tire off seeing

  • musclenuts

    Dana is trying to set up him n brock!