UFC heavyweight Fabricio Werdum is on the cusp of earning a UFC title shot. He takes on fellow Brazilian and MMA legend Antionio Rodrigo Nogueira in the UFC on Fuel TV 10 main event on Saturday in hopes of moving one step closer to a title fight.
The two have fought once before in Japan under the Pride FC banner. Nogueira won the fight by unanimous decision, but this time Werdum feels things are going to be much different.
“I think this fight will be a lot different than our last fight in 2006. I was a newcomer, but Nogueira was already a champion in the event. He was already very famous in MMA. I was purely a jiu-jitsu fighter,” Werdum told UFC.com.
“He defeated me. He used his experience against me as a young new fighter. I learned a lot from that fight as well. I lost to him, but I learned a lot from that loss,” he said.
Werdum has come a long way since that fight in 2006.
“The main difference for me in this fight is that I’ve specialized and evolved with my career. Today I’m a more complete professional, and now I’m specialized in Muay Thai as well,” he said.
The 35-year-old has his sights set on UFC gold, and Nogueira stands in his way.
“All I want now is to have a beautiful fight with Minotauro. I want this to be an impressive fight. I want to show everybody that I’m ready to be the world champion,” said Werdum.
“I have this great dream of becoming the UFC heavyweight champion,” he continued. “I’ve always chased my dreams and I’ve always achieved them, that’s why I know I will be the UFC champion.”