It’s safe to say former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum is ecstatic to be competing again.
Werdum returns to action for the first time in over two years when he faces Aleksei Oleinik on the prelims of UFC 249 on May 9 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Brazilian has been away ever since failing a drug test in 2018 which resulted in a two-year suspension.
However, he is eligible to compete again and despite not being on the main card, he remains happy and is now looking to make up for lost time.
“I was going to fight at UFC 250, in Brazil. I know lots of people were looking at that date because UFC 249 got cancelled, but now it’s back on,” Werdum told Combate in a recent interview (via Bloody Elbow). “They chose me and I was very happy. Although I’m on the prelims, I don’t really care about that. I’d like to be on the main card, but being able to fight again after two years because a contamination I was unable to prove, it just makes me want to fight. It doesn’t matter where. If it’s the first of the night, I’m happy, because I’ll fight and then leave.
“I’m happy to be on the card, it’s pretty important, there will only be great fights. I know that if I were in Brazil, I’d be on the main card, but being able to fight is the most important thing. I have two fights left in the UFC, I want to be done with that soon so I can make up for the years I’ve been away. I want to be more active so I have to fight for five more years. I think I’ll fight for one or two years more, but you never really know.”
Werdum is based in Big Bear, Colorado, and is currently self-isolating along with his family. And he only plans on being in Jacksonville for three days as he looks to avoid contracting the COVID-19 virus.
“It’s all set. We’re leaving on May 7, we don’t even have to be there a week before because there’ll be no media,” he said. “I arrive on the 7th and leave on the 10th. I’ll go back to Big Bear, where I’ll be with my family. It was the best decision because I was able to train at an altitude, which makes a big difference. I run up the mountains, I train online with Rafael Cordeiro, Cobrinha and Renato Babalu has been helping, too. It reminds me of Mexico, when I fought Cain Velasquez and Mark Hunt with altitude. I feel like I’m physically and mentally prepared because of the experience I have. Everything will turn out fine.”
Werdum’s last outing was a knockout defeat to Alexander Volkov at UFC London back in March 2018.
How do you think Werdum will perform after two years on the sidelines?