The first time Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira met nearly seven years ago, they were two different fighters.

Nogueira was an established commodity, a former Pride Fighting Championships heavyweight titlist and one of the best big men in the sport. Werdum, by contrast, held just a third of Nogueira’s pro experience and relied almost exclusively on his world-class jiu-jitsu game. “Minotauro” outmaneuvered Werdum at Pride “Critical Countdown Absolute,” picking up a unanimous decision victory to advance in the promotion’s 2006 openweight grand prix.

Now, “Vai Cavalo” will square off with Nogueira once again in the main event of UFC on Fuel TV 10, which takes place this Saturday at the Paulo Sarasate Gymnasium in Fortaleza, Brazil. Almost seven years after his initial defeat to Nogueira, Werdum says their rematch will tell a new story.

“I think this fight will be a lot different than our last fight in 2006. I was a newcomer, but ‘Minotauro’ was already a champion in the event. He was already very famous in MMA. I was purely a jiu-jitsu fighter,” Werdum recently told UFC.com. “He used his experience against me as a young, new fighter. I lost to him, but I learned a lot from that loss.”

Werdum believes the strides he has taken in recent years toward becoming a truly well-rounded fighter will pay dividends on Saturday. Specifically, Werdum cites the development of his striking game under respected trainer Rafael Cordeiro as a major source of confidence.

“The main difference for me in this fight is that I’ve specialized and evolved in my career. Today, I’m a more complete fighter, and I’m specialized in muay Thai, as well,” said Werdum. “I’ve been training with Rafael Cordeiro for five years now. That completely changed my game. I’m not saying that I’m a striker now, but I gotten better in everything, like how it should be.”

The upcoming clash with Nogueira marks the second time in as many bouts that Werdum has fought in his home country, a fact that has the jiu-jitsu ace excited to put forth a memorable performance.

“I think it will be great to fight in Brazil again. I will always say that I am proud to represent Brazil. I want to put on a great fight for the fans. All I want right now is to have a beautiful fight with ‘Minotauro,’” said Werdum. “I want this to be an impressive fight. I want to show everyone that I am ready to be the world champion, and I think it will be a great fight because both [of us] will show our will to win.”

For Werdum, Nogueira simply represents the next challenge in a long line of obstacles he has overcome as a competitor. While “Vai Cavalo” unquestionably respects his countryman, he is also aware that his path to the UFC heavyweight title runs through Nogueira.

“I’ve always had great willpower to get what I really want. Every time I set my mind to something, I go and get it, and now I am so close to that belt after so much has happened in my career,” said Werdum. “I’ve been on top and fell. Now I am climbing back up. I have this great dream of becoming the UFC heavyweight champion. In the beginning, my dream was to become a jiu-jitsu world champion, and I did it twice. I am dedicated, and I am doing the right things.

“I know I have a big obstacle in my way with ‘Minotauro,’ but I will give my best to defeat him and to achieve my goal to get that belt. I’ve always chased my dreams, and I’ve always achieved them. That’s why I know I will be UFC champion.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

‘Minotauro’ Nogueira: Fabricio Werdum has the edge over Cain Velasquez standing and on the ground

  • 18 days ago
  • 17 views

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira fought both UFC heavyweight titleholders Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum in the UFC, and he offered his thoughts on Saturday’s UFC 188 main event. Speaki read news >>

UFC 188 Free Fight Flashback: Cain Velasquez KO’s Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

  • 23 days ago
  • 45 views

As a young and hungry heavyweight, Cain Velasquez throws down with former heavyweight champion Minotauro Nogueira at UFC 110. read news >>

Video: Watch UFC 188's Cain Velasquez blow up Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in 2010

  • 22 days ago
  • 6 views

A little more than five years ago, Cain Velasquez was an unbeaten heavyweight just seven fights into his career – and he was hungry. “Big Nog” paid the price. Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC 190 media day staredowns

  • 20 days ago
  • 8 views

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Watch twin brothers Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira face off with UFC 190 opponents Stefan Struve and Mauricio Rua, respectively, during a media day on Wednesd read news >>

UFC 190: Stefan Struve planning first-round knockout of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in Brazil

  • 15 days ago
  • 0 views

"Skyscraper" won't be wasting any time when he locks horns against a man he loved watching compete as a kid. Looking to right his ship and stop the bleeding of a two-fight losing streak, Stefan Struv read news >>

Morning Report: Mirko Cro Cop wants rematches with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Roy Nelson, Junior dos Santos and Alistair

  • 14 days ago
  • 31 views

It's pretty wild to think that Mirko Cro Cop has only been beaten 11 times. Considering the era he dominated in Japan, it's even more wild to think it's not too late for him to even some scores on th read news >>

Mirko Cro Cop eyes UFC rematches against Junior dos Santos, Roy Nelson, and Alistair Overeem

  • 14 days ago
  • 2 views

And another tussle against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira wouldn't be a bad idea, either. Mirko Filipovic already avenged one devastating loss inside the Octagon after defeating Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC Figh read news >>

Big Nog teases at three submissions he has 'up his sleeve' vs. Struve

  • 13 days ago
  • 3 views

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira believes he will have to rely on his striking to defeat Stefan Struve at UFC 190. However, he claims to have a few tricks up his sleeve in case he can get the fight to the gr read news >>

UFC 188 Embedded, Episode 1: 'He's an American that thinks he's Mexican'

  • 23 days ago
  • 66 views

In the first episode of UFC 188, Fabricio Werdum takes us on a tour of his training camp squalor and kisses babies in Mexico, while Cain Velasquez hangs out with Luke Rockhold and Javier Mendez and g read news >>

Fabricio Werdum loves the support from Mexico, feels 'more Mexican than Cain'

  • 23 days ago
  • 2 views

Fabricio Werdum reveals how he gets a lot of support from Mexican fans through social media and still believes Cain stalled their fight on purpose. It's fight week for the UFC interim heavyweight cha read news >>

Trending News

Top News

Jump to: