The top two contenders in the heavyweight division, former champions Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez, were scheduled to fight at UFC 207 on Friday, but the rematch fell apart when the Nevada State Athletic Commission deemed Velasquez “unfit to fight.”
When Velasquez was removed from the fight card leaving Werdum without an opponent, the fight promotion offered him two fights that UFC president Dana White said the Brazilian turned down.
“Werdum has turned down two fights. JDS [Junior dos Santos], Werdum turned that fight down. There’s different ways to turn fights down. I can call and say, ‘hey, do you want this fight?’ No, I don’t want this fight. Or you can say, yeah, for $800,000 and a piece of pay-per-view. That’s turning down the fight. Then we offered him a fight with I think Alistair Overeem in Brooklyn, and he turned that down too,” White said on Wednesday during the UFC 207 Media Day in Las Vegas.
Werdum admitted that he asked for more money to face dos Santos on six days notice, but was never told about being offered a bout against Overeem.
“Of course (I asked for more money), because I would change the opponent and the strategy. I asked (for more), yes. But Alistair Overeem’s offer didn’t come up to me. He talked with my manager and he didn’t tell me that. But the fight with Cigano [Junior Dos Santos] would be without any guarantee that I would get a title shot after that. So me and my team realized that wouldn’t be the deal that I signed for. If you wanna smile, you have to make me smile too,” Werdum told Brazilian news outlet AG Fight on Wednesday.
“He can say whatever he wants to say, he is the UFC president. Everybody is going to believe in him, of course,” added Werdum.
“I don’t have to agree with this fight. Because of that, I asked for more money. I signed to fight (Cain) Velasquez. How would they change the fight a week before and I will have to accept everything? It is not like that; I don’t need this.”
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