(Video courtesy YouTube/TheShoot)
"I know it’s going to be hard but I know that I can [beat Fedor]," he explains.
Although he is confident about his chances this weekend, Werdum has no illusions of grandeur.
"If I beat Fedor on that night, I’m better than him that night. I don’t consider myself better than anybody else," he says. "I just know that I have a place on the top. I think to beat Fedor is like having 10 belts in the house."
Having begun his MMA career as a straight Brazilian jiu-jitsu player, Werdum has worked diligently to round out his game with solid striking and wrestling.
He credits the support of his brother and longtime friend for building the confidence that he still has today.
"After a little while in jiu-jitsu, I started to think about MMA," Werdum recalls. "I had two guys that really believed in me in the beginning, that was my brother and my friend Mario Reis."
According to Felipe, they always knew that Fabricio was a born fighter.
"His first fight on PRIDE was against Tom Erikson," he says. "At that time nobody wanted to fight Tom Erikson and then Fabricio went there and beat Tom Erikson."
Though he admits he has put in a lot of hard work to round out his game, Fabricio credits his longtime coach and mentor for helping him get to the point in his career that he’s at.
"This is my coach Rafael Cordeiro. Three years, never the same training — different training every time. This training camp is one of the best ever I have done in my life and career. It’s a special camp that I am doing for my master Rafael Cordeiro and I have a lot of guys helping me."
Those "guys" include former Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Renato "Babalu" Sobral, current Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal, UFC and Pride standout Wanderlei Silva and Mark Munoz.
Looking forward to where he wants to be and briefly glancing back to where he came from, Werdum says he is exactly where he wants to be and points to his career as a fighter as being one of the greatest accomplishments in his life.
"When I started my career I was a jiu-jitsu fighter fighting in MMA and now I’m a pro fighter. I love to fight," he says. "This is my life and I am so happy because I can make money doing something that I love."