(Beating Fedor…uninterested in Ubereem…UFC co-promotion? Do his pupils look dialated?)
Heading into his potentially career defining June 26 battle with Fedor Emelianenko, Fabrício Werdum spoke with TATAME’s Eduardo Ferreira about his chances in the fight and his future in the sport beyond.
Werdum says that he thinks he has pinpointed some of Emelianenko’s weaknesses and plans to exploit them.
"I’ve been studying a lot his game, I’ve been watching his fights. In the past people didn’t watch their opponent previous fights, but it’s a thing everyone has been doing, so it’s very important that I do it, because I’m sure he has been watching my fights. It’s difficult for an athlete to change completely his game plan in a year, he basically does the same things, so we already know Fedor has a heavy hand, is strong and fast… I’ll do what I do best and try to make my Jiu-Jitsu work, but I also have to worry about the standing game because the fight begins with the two of us standing, so I have to prepare myself for everything because a good punch on the heavyweight division can determine the winner so I have to worry about this, but so does he. I can’t say much about him, he’s the champion for about eight years, so beating a guy from his level is a huge thing. I don’t know if will be [for a title shot], of course I’d like to become the champion and have the belt, but I’m more concerned about beating Fedor, because it’s more important to me than bringing five belts home."
One interesting tidbit from the interview is that Werdum, who defeated current Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem four years ago under the PRIDE banner, says he isn’t really interested in facing the Holland-based fighter again. Instead, he is hoping that Strikeforce may lend him out to the UFC somewhere down the road for a "superfight."
Seriously…He said that.
"[Overeem] has improved a lot and every fight is different. I don’t know if people saw our fight on Pride where, on the first round, he hit me a lot, with punches, knees, kicks, brought me down five times… On the second round, because I was more conditioning I improved and I submit him with a kimura," recalls Werdum. "But I don’t think of fighting against him, I think about maybe fighting against Fedor again or maybe a bout against UFC champion — a super fight, so I could fight against Brock Lesnar… After I win I’ll be even bigger, I’ll be huge (laughs)."
So let me get this straight. He’s contracted to Strikeforce, mentioned he isn’t sure if the winner of the Fedor fight gets a shot at the title but says that he wants to win a belt, yet he says isn’t interested in a fight with Overeem? Couple this statement with the fact that he says already wants another fight with Fedor and I’d say that Fabrício’s confidence is a bit shook and isn’t giving himself as much of a chance of winning as he’s letting on.
If he does win, Werdum says his victory speech will be something along the lines of the following:
“I’d like everyone to feel exactly how I’m feeling right now, because it’s a wonderful feeling for a fighter to have after training so hard and getting a great result."
I’m pretty sure everyone watching will feel exactly like Werdum if he pulls off a win.
He means shocked and in utter disbelief, right?