Source: Fabricio Werdum Still Undecided on Whether or Not to Wait for Cain Velasquez

December 27, 2013
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Werdum UFC ReturnUFC president Dana White on Thursday made it crystal clear that his desire is for No. 1 heavyweight contender Fabricio Werdum to fight the winner of Saturday’s UFC 168 bout between Josh Barnett and Travis Browne. Werdum, however, doesn’t appear to have made up his mind yet.

His other option would be to roll the dice and sit on the sidelines for several months until UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez returns from shoulder surgery and then fight him for the title.

It’s a risky proposition to sit idly by and wait for a champion’s return. We’ve seen in the past where a fighter can end up facing additional setbacks when dealing with injuries. If the No. 1 contender opts to sit and wait, such setbacks keep the challenger on the sideline as well.

That’s what White wants to avoid with Werdum.

“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.”

The UFC president believes that Werdum was made aware that the company would prefer he steps back into the Octagon instead of continuing to wait for Velasquez.

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

Werdum hasn’t fought since defeating Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in June, but a source close to the negotiations claims that the Brazilian hasn’t yet made up his mind whether to fight the Barnett vs. Browne winner or continue to hold out for his title shot.

“We are negotiating… haven’t decided yet,” the source told

Velasquez had surgery earlier this month, but he faces at least five to six months of rehabilitation before he can begin his return to the Octagon, which would put Werdum out of action for more than a year by the time they were to fight.

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  • Big Tuna

    Guarantee him a title shot regardless. He earned it

    • shakejunt

      his match vs nog wasn’t an official number 1 contender fight so he’s not guaranteed anything. if you think you deserve to fight the champ then take out whoever they put in front of you.

      • bajafox

        Yea, only reason he earned the shot was because there was nobody else to give it to at the time, literally nobody. If Browne or Barnett win in stunning fashion, they can both make claims to fight Cain but fighting Werdum would make the most sense

    • TheCerealKiller

      “Earning” a title shot for beating Nog, Russow and Nelson is a joke! Both Browne and Barnett would smash him. That winner should be getting the next shot or fight Werdum while Cain heals.

      • Mark McDowall

        Agreed…winner of Browne/Barnett vs Werdum for the #1 spot.

      • Big Tuna

        I said he earned it by way ufc match makers not me.

        • TheCerealKiller

          No, your comment clearly says “He earned it.”

  • fsunoles10

    i dont see cain losing anytime soon, there is nobody in the hw division that can beat him and to my knowledge there isnt a up and comer capable of taking him out either. werdum is prolly the best bet but cain is just to smart to get caught up in werdums submission game so i cant see that either. im not much of a cain fan but that dude is really impressive.

  • julian moran

    I think both Werdum and Barnett could beat Velasquez.

  • steeltown65

    Why not have him fight JDS? After all, that should eliminate all doubt as to whether or not he’s capable of even hanging with Cain. You may think ” well JDS is a brawler /boxing style fighter” that’s true. But Cain proved twice that he is both of those and an elite wrestler. His submission defense is excellent. And his ground and pound is second to none. So I say that JDS is the number one contender until one of the above mentionex heavyweights can beat him. Or have werdum fight mark hunt. There are fighters out there who will give werdum all he can handle. That’s why he doesn’t want to fight. If he fights and loses. The guy that beats him moves past him. Plus the way some of the decisions have gone lately, he could beat a guy up and still lose. I think you book him to fight. If he declines to fight put him at #10. He’ll have to fight then..

    • TheCerealKiller

      JDS already kicked his a$$ once. Dana already said he wants him to fight the winner from tonight. I love that because Barnett or Browne would crush him.