Fabricio Werdum has finally responded to Alistair Overeem‘s claims that he should be ashamed of his performance on Saturday night in their Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix quarterfinal match-up. According to Vai Cavalo, Overeem didn’t beat him; he lost the bout on his own by not listening to his corner and instead attempting time and time again to coax “The Demolition Man” into his guard.
“I don’t believe he won, I lost to myself. I could’ve won. The feeling I’m having now is worse than if he has smashed me up and if he was way better than me on the three rounds, winning with a large advantage,” he told TATAME today. “The guys is good, alright, so I’d have to keep my head down and train more. But it wasn’t like that and that made me choked. It was a [mediocre] bout, the fans expected much more, but he didn’t want to the ground at any cost.”
Werdum says that one thing he did succeed in doing was throwing Overeem off of his usually dominant striking game.
“You can see that end of the second and third round, when we went to the ground, on the half guard, he just laid there, he didn’t punch me at all, which is what he always does… He didn’t do it, he just held me. But many things happened,” he said. “But me, in particular, wasn’t ok. I trained a lot, I did wrestling trainings, muay thai trainings… I did everything I was supposed to do. But, the way I see it, I have to put much more effort for my next bout so I get stronger, really strong because it makes much difference.”
Pointing out that Overeem was able to use his strength advantage to dump him on his back and to break the clinch, Werdum says that the power disparity was the difference in the fight. He feels that if he had a few more seconds, he could have made The Reem tap out.
“And he used much strength just to hold me there. He followed his game plan and I made a mistake because I didn’t do what we have planned for me to do. When I pulled him to my guard, on the end of the third round, I almost applied a leglock, which was something we trained a lot: pulling him to my guard and grabbing his leg,” he explained.I” did it on the end of the fight, but it wasn’t the right moment. I had the chance to do that before, but it was too late for me to do anything, there were only 10 seconds left, and I couldn’t do anything more.”
A knee injury in the second round Fabricio says may have prompted him to try to pull guard more than planned, but he says that he was put off that Overeem didn’t want to engage with him on the ground.
“I don’t know if the guys really noticed me, but on the second round Overeem got my leg and tried to take me down. Since my leg was stuck on the floor, my left leg, my knee was dislocated. A MMA bout is not only about striking. When I call the guys to fight on the floor, nobody comes. When the guys want to fight me while standing up, I’d go, I’d stand up and try to launch how many shots I could,” Werdum pointed out. “I was doing fine striking, but I paid a high price for not listening to my coach, because that was not my game plan. To call him into my guard, I could do that like one, alright… But, the way I did, it made me tired. Calling him to my guard and standing… Keep doing that over and over again got me really tired.”
Although he didn’t win the bout, Werdum says the fact that he was never really in trouble against a dangerous striker like Overeem was a bit of a moral victory and that he would like a rubbermatch if and when Antonio Silva beats him. As far as who he is fighting next, he believes that it will be against either Andrei Arlovski or Brett Rogers on the same card as the SFHWGP semi-finals.
“Overeem said he’d knock me out and I didn’t see it coming at all. I wasn’t in danger fighting Overeem, he didn’t knock me down… I wasn’t hit by any strong shots, that could almost lead me to a knockout. He never came for me as he always does. There’s a long time since Overeem has been winning his bouts on the first round, on the first minute, right? It’s been a while… And against me he didn’t do it, he didn’t come for it, he didn’t work his ground and pound,” he explained. “I intend to fight on this next phase of the GP, not on the GP, but on the same event, against Arlovski or Brett Rogers, who have also lost. I guess it’d be a good thing for me to fight on this event because I felt I needed to fight more, I stayed without fighting for too long. I was a year off, and that’s a lot of time. I lost the rhythm… I was doing good on the training, but fighting is different. On the day of the bout it’s different.”
“In my opinion, Big Foot will defeat Overeem,. And I guess it’ll be striking. If Big Foot goes like he went went he was with Arlovski, he’ll defeat Overeem. I’d fight on the same event that they would, I don’t know against who, but in case Overeem loses, on the next event we could have a rematch worth the belt, because after this bout we’re even,” he said. “I won one, and he won the other, so we have to do this third match and check it all out. It’s 1×1, so we have to do this bout, because it’s not convincing anyone: not even for him because I made the first move all times, and neither for me because I lost it. ”