Although no date or venue has been set, it has been confirmed by the UFC that heavyweight champion Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum will defend his title for the first time against former champion Cain Velasquez. Werdum shocked the world just a few months back in Mexico, battering Velasquez and stealing the title.
Despite no venue being set, Werdum has an idea of where he would like the fight to be and that would be in a 60,000-seat soccer stadium in his home of Brazil where he believes records could be broken:
“It would be amazing to defend my title at the Arena. I want that, of course,” Werdum told MMAFighting.com. “I believe I can get more than 50,000 fans in there for my fight. Let’s break Canada’s (UFC 129) record. It was great to return to my city and be recognized by the people, everybody asking for pictures on the streets. It was awesome.”
Continuing on, the newly crowned champion said that he will meet with the UFC brass next week, and of course he will push for the stadium show:
“I don’t know about date yet, or where it will take place,” he said. “”I have a meeting with Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta next week to discuss that. I will campaign for the Arena, of course. It would be great, a huge success.”
Despite Werdum and Velasquez possibly being the two best heavyweights in the world, some fans aren’t too happy with the immediate rematch given the nature that Werdum beat Velasquez, as well as the list of hungry heavyweight contenders.
“Vai Cavalo” says that he understands the fans’ view, but that he respects Velasquez and will give the former champion a rematch:
“I offered him a rematch after the fight because I respect him like I respected Fedor (Emelianenko),” said Werdum. “Those are the fighters that I respect the most in the MMA world because they show what they can do inside the cage, not by talking. After that, fans started saying Cain didn’t deserve a rematch because I dominated him, and I got into it as well. But I respect Cain. He was the best in the world one day, and I will give him a rematch, no problem.”
Many fans were shocked by the first fight not just because “Vai Cavalo” brutally beat Velasquez, but because Velasquez just didn’t look like himself. Usually a cardio machine with an insane pace, Velasquez tired quickly and many have attributed that to the Mexican altitude, but Werdum says that that isn’t his fault.
The Brazilian stated that he had a better strategy, he wanted it bad, and that he proved he was the better man:
“Fans will always try to find something to talk about,” he said. “Everybody saw this fight, they are not blind. I dominated him completely. If Cain didn’t go to altitude earlier, that’s not my problem. I was not going to call him and say ‘Cain, you have to come earlier because the altitude will affect you a lot’. I believe there were a lot of reasons, actually: the altitude, the fact that I wanted it so bad, that he hasn’t fought for a while, but his coach said he was in great shape and would give him a worse beating than he gave ‘Cigano’, so I knew he wasn’t confident. I wanted the belt so bad, and I won it.
“The altitude helped me, of course, but that was part of my strategy as well. That’s why I went early to Mexico, stayed there for 40 days, and showed the world I was better than him. It wasn’t easy, we literally fought hard, but I had a better strategy with master Rafael Cordeiro. Some people said I could have finished him in the second round, but that was part of my strategy. I knew I was going to finish him with a guillotine. Wrestlers always escape from the thai clinch with takedowns, so I knew that was going to happen.
Do you see the outcome of the rematch being different, or is Werdum the man right now?