Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum was scheduled to rematch Cain Velasquez at Dec. 30, 2016’s UFC 207, but Velasquez was forced to withdraw from the bout after failing to receive medical clearance from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
After Velasquez was pulled from the bout, Junior Dos Santos expressed interest in a rematch with Werdum, as he scored a knockout victory over Werdum back in 2007.
JDS was scheduled to meet Stefan Struve at Feb. 19’s UFC Fight Night 105, but Struve was forced to withdraw with a shoulder injury, making a fight between Werdum and Dos Santos a logical bout to make.
It has yet to come to fruition, however, and Werdum recently explained why:
“I wasn’t apt to fight him at that moment because as soon as they canceled the (Cain) Velasquez scrap, I stopped training entirely,” Werdum told MMAjunkie. “I really stopped. I traveled with my family, I did what I always do after I fight – I travel, do seminars, go on vacations. In my head, it was like I’d fought, because I’d prepared for that moment.
“I didn’t want what happened when I fought (Alistair) Overeem in Strikeforce, when I went past my point and went into overtraining, to happen again. So I stopped training, to get some rest. The body needs that. They speculated this fight with ‘Cigano’ – they never offered it to me officially, but they talked about me fighting him in February. But it wasn’t the time. When they schedule the fight with ‘Cigano,’ it won’t be right away. I’ll prepare for it.”
With Dos Santos left without an opponent, rumors began to swirl that the UFC was targeting a title rematch between champion Stipe Miocic and “Cigano”, although Werdum feels as if that bout is unfair:
“I don’t really think (Miocic vs. Dos Santos) is fair,” Werdum said. “Because I’m the last champ. Going by logic, there’s a (UFC) ranking, it’s there for a reason, and I’m the No. 1. Obviously it’s not a tournament, but I imagined the fight with Velasquez that didn’t happen as a semifinal. It was between Cain and I, and whoever won would fight for the belt. That was practically a given. That’s what everybody saw.”
What do you make of the current heavyweight title picture?