(Werdum taking advantage of his only opportunity to try on Fedor’s belt.)
Today Strikeforce put to rest the rampant rumors that Fedor Emelianenko would be signing with the UFC with the announcement that "The Last Emperor" will face two-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Fabricio "Vai Cavalo" Werdum in a headlining bout on the promotion’s Saturday, June 26 card.
The event, which will be co-promoted by M-1 Global will be featured on SHOWTIME. Strikeforce was hoping to have CBS showcase the bout, but the organization’s president Scott Coker mentioned last week that have not met with the network to discuss their plans moving forward since the post-fight brawl that took place during their last broadcast event last month.
Strikeforce is building the fight upon an almost non-existent back-story that revolves around Fedor wanting revenge for Werdum beating the Emelianenko’s younger brother, Aleksander, three-and-a-half years ago.
Why not just focus on the fight?
Personally, though I don’t see Werdum beating Fedor, I don’t think he’s as outmatched as most think he is. If you look at who he has lost against and who he has beaten over the span of his career, he definitely deserves to be in the top ten of heavyweight ranking lists.
I’m not exactly sure why the UFC let him go, considering he beat Brandon Vera and Gabriel Gonzaga in the Octagon and only lost to Andrei Arlovski by decision before getting knocked out by Junior Dos Santos, in what would be his last fight in the promotion. The rumor is that Zuffa wanted him to take a substantial pay cut, and when he refused, they gave Werdum his walking papers.
It’s sad when wins over Lil’ Emel, Gonzaga, Vera, Alistair Overeem and Roman Zentsov don’t equate to as much monetary respect as being an Internet back yard brawling can-crusher who was knocked out by a UFC cast-off.
Maybe this fact explains Fabricio’s expressed interest in fighting said meme-turned-MMA fighter.
(Props: World of MMA)