UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum (19-5-1) has a major opportunity ahead of him this weekend as he looks to become the Undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion this Saturday at UFC 188. He will take on current UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez (13-1) in the main event and he doesn’t require the belief from fans to assure himself a victory.
“I don’t like to make excuses regarding my losses,” Werdum told MMAjunkie of his evolution since that last loss. “If I lose, then I lost, and that’s it. But when I fought Overeem, I was completely overtrained. I went past my limit. That fight was postponed two times. By the third time, I barely had the will to fight. I kept training the entire time. It was the first time in my life I exceeded my limits. I could barely stay standing during the fight. The fans kept booing me. But I couldn’t stay up. I was doing well with my striking, but I didn’t have the strength to stay standing. So puling guard was my only recourse, to keep from getting knocked out.
“As far as my personal evolution, I used to be less dedicated, back when I had a lot less MMA experience. That was my problem against ‘Cigano’ (Junior Dos Santos). Against Overeem, I had the skills, but I went too far in my training. But now I know I’m on the right path. That’s why I’m on a five-win streak in the UFC. Now I’m fighting for the unified belt. It’s a great challenge to face Cain Velasquez. I have to prove again to the entire world what I know – that I’m the best in the world. I have that conviction. Right now, I’m at an elevation of 2.2 miles (3,600 meters) in Mexico. I’m very dedicated to this. I’ll be away from my family for 40 days. All these factors can help me in having a great fight, and capturing the belt. That’s how I think.”
Fab thinks active time and striking will be his advantage over Cain and that his own resume has already spoken for itself.
“I have a slight advantage in regards to fight rhythm,” Werdum said. “He hasn’t fought in almost two years. Without a doubt, having a good fighting rhythm is going to help me a lot. But Velasquez is a dangerous guy. He doesn’t back away from a fight and does a great job combining boxing with wrestling. I think people should get excited about this fight and get the pay-per-view. It’s a whole different emotion, to watch the fights live, instead of learning about the results afterward. In my opinion, this can be the fight of the year, if not of the century. Especially since Mayweather vs. Pacquiao was supposed to be the fight for the century, but in reality it wasn’t.”
“Of course, I want to leave my mark on the sport,” Werdum said. “Of course, I want to leave a legacy. I want people to talk about how Werdum was the guy who defeated guys like Fedor Emelianenko, Cain Velasquez, Mark Hunt and ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira. I fight to be a winner. I enjoy my sport, my profession. I fight to win. I fight for myself and to show my fans that I can do it. It’s hard to find a job you always enjoy. Most people work jobs they don’t like because they need the money. I’m fortunate enough to work in something that I love. And to be remembered as a great champion is highly rewarding, to be recognized in that way. I want people to know I can win even if no one believes in me.”