Former UFC heavyweight champion, Fabricio ‘Vai Cavalo’ Werdum has inked a deal to link up with the Professional Fighters League (PFL) for the upcoming 2021 heavyweight season, following the culmination of his latest contract with the Dana White led promotion.
Werdum, a veteran of mixed martial arts has been linked with major organizations the world over since the fighting out of the final fight of his Octagon deal earlier this year, such as Singapore based outfit, ONE Championship, and Scott Coker’s, Bellator MMA, however, according to a press release from PFL, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace will compete under their banner in the upcoming 2021 season format, after a series of recent rumblings.
The 43-year-old grappling sensation last featured professionally at UFC Fight Island 3 in July, picking up an eye-catching armbar win over three-time light heavyweight championship challenger, Alexander ‘The Mauler’ Gustafsson in his second Octagon appearance of the year.
Werdum, a native of Porto Alegre in Brazil had been continuously linked with a spot on the Bellator MMA roster, in particular, expressing his interest in a potential rematch with the iconic, Fedor ‘The Last Emperor’ Emelianenko – whom he infamously submitted with a quickfire triangle at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum back in June of 2010. Despite both Coker and Werdum’s expression of interest in the bout, a deal failed to materialise.
PFL CEO, Peter Murray today reacted to Werdum’s arrival in the promotion, comparing the veteran to decorated NFL quarterback, Tom Brady.
“”I am excited to announce Fabricio Werdum, the Tom Brady of MMA, has signed with the Professional Fighters League,” Murray said. “Fabricio (Werdum) is one of the greatest heavyweights of all time and knows when he steps into the PFL cage this coming season, it is more than a fight. The PFL sport season format provides an opportunity to control his destiny, like all PFL fighters, with a transparent shot to earn another major global title and the PFL million-dollar champions belt.“
Werdum, a thirty-four fight professional veteran, has amassed an incredible 24-9 record during his almost nineteen-year career. With twelve submissions and six knockout finishes, Werdum has bested the likes of Gabriel Gonzaga (x2), Alistair Overeem, both Fedor and Alexander Emelianenko, Brandon Vera, Antonio Silva, Minotauro Nogueira, Travis Browne (x2), and Mark Hunt.
In his crowning Octagon triumph, the Brazilian headlined UFC 188 in June of 2015 at elevation in Mexico City, and with a shocking third-round guillotine, unified the heavyweight titles against Cain Velasquez to claim undisputed gold.