With ‘Ultimate Fighter’ Filming Complete, Fabricio Werdum Shifts Focus to ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

Fabricio Werdum could soon join the hunt for the UFC heavyweight title. | File Photo: Sherdog.com


Following 50 days of taping for “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2,” Fabricio Werdum returned to Los Angeles to begin preparing for his highly anticipated rematch with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the UFC on Fuel TV 10 main event on June 8 at the Paulo Sarasate Gymnasium in Fortaleza, Brazil.

Nogueira defeated Werdum by unanimous decision under the Pride Fighting Championships banner in July 2006. The two heavyweights are coaching opposite one another on the reality show.

“You know, ‘Minotauro’ only has entertaining fights, and they are always marked by his resilience,” Werdum told Sherdog.com, “so I’m training hard to avoid it this time and come out with the victory.”

Though his focus remains planted on Nogueira, Werdum will keep an eye on a pair of high-stakes UFC 160 matchups that will help shape the landscape at the top of the heavyweight division: Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva and Junior dos Santos vs. Mark Hunt.

“I strongly believe in ‘Bigfoot’ in this rematch against Velasquez,” Werdum said. “He has evolved as a fighter since their first fight [at UFC 146]. By following the right strategy and not being worried about just takedowns, like he was the first time, he has every chance to knock out Velasquez. I fought [Silva], and I know the weight of that giant hand. That juggernaut coming at you ... I think he’ll win. I’m hoping for that. ‘Bigfoot’ is now a great friend.”

Werdum also stands behind dos Santos, a man with whom he has traded public barbs in the past. Dos Santos knocked out Werdum at UFC 90 in October 2008, and “Vai Cavalo” has done nothing to hide his desire for a rematch. Still, he finds himself pulling for his countryman against the resurgent Hunt.

“I’m rooting for ‘Cinago,’” Werdum said. “I believe he will win, but you have to respect Hunt. He lures you into range and hits you, and he’s beaten several big names from K-1. I believe in ‘Cigano’s’ hands, but if I was his coach, I would advise him to go for the takedown.”

A victory over the beloved Nogueira could conceivably vault Werdum into position as the number one contender for the Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight crown, though the two-time Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist believes chances of an immediate crack at the title remain remote.

“Looking at the UFC schedule, I think it’s unlikely,” said Werdum, who has forged an alliance with Fabio Gurgel, one of his coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter” series. “‘Bigfoot,’ Cain and dos Santos fight on May 25, and I fight on June 8. I think whoever is champion will have to fight one more time before I have a right to a title shot -- if I win.

“Right now, I’m focused on my fight with Rodrigo, who’s a tough opponent,” he added. “If I beat him and need to fight another fight before a title shot, no problem.”

Werdum enjoyed his time on “The Ultimate Fighter,” watching fellow Brazilians vie for a spot in the UFC.

“I can only say you will see great fights from new fighters with great skills,” he said, “and you will laugh more than you did during the first season.”

Coaching opposite Nogueira gave Werdum a deeper respect for the revered former Pride champion.

“I’ve heard people talk about how great a person ‘Minotauro’ is, but over these 50 days, I had the opportunity to get to know him,” he said. “Guys like him just don’t exist. One day, I was backstage suffering with hip pain, and he offered me his physiotherapist. What do you say about a guy like that?”

view original article >>

Related News

  • 22 days ago
  • 34 views

MMAmania.com resident fighter analyst Andrew Richardson breaks down the mixed martial arts (MMA) game of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 19 Finale headliner B.J. Penn who looks to finally earn a victory over Frankie Edgar this Sunday (July 6, 2014) at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight and Lightweight strap-hanger, B.J. Penn, will drop down to Featherweight to avenge a pair of losses to fellow former 155-pound kingpin, Frankie Edg more

  • 20 days ago
  • 52 views

MMAmania.com resident fighter analyst Andrew Richardson breaks down the mixed martial arts (MMA) game of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 19 Finale headliner Frankie Edgar, who looks to defeat B.J. Penn for the third time this Sunday night (July 6, 2014) inside Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight kingpin, Frankie Edgar, takes on the man he stole that title from, B.J. Penn, this Sunday night (July 6, 2014) at Mandalay Bay Events Cente more

  • 19 days ago
  • 26 views

The UFC revealed the full cast for “The Ultimate Fighter 20” on Thursday, adding eight women to the strawweight lineup. more

  • 28 days ago
  • 60 views

Want to live in a world where Bobby Southworth and Lodune Sincaid are UFC Hall of Famers? Next week is the UFC's big Fan Expo in Las Vegas, where new inductions into the promotion's Hall of Fame will be announced. There's no word on who is officially going to join the likes of Matt Hughes, Chuck Liddell, Mark Coleman, and others in their HOF, but Dana White has a grand idea of who should be in. It's no secret that White is forever grateful for the inaugural cast of The Ultimate Fighter, and in a more

  • 27 days ago
  • 82 views

Join Bloody Elbow Wednesday night for live discussion of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Edgar vs. Team Penn. Tonight, Corey Anderson vs. Patrick Walsh. Join us tonight for episode 11 of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Edgar vs. Team Penn. The Ultimate Fighter airs on Fox Sports 1 starting at 10:00 p.m. ET. We'll have TUF discussion, right here at Bloody Elbow. Last week, the semifinal round got underway. In an upset, Eddie Gordon advanced to the finals by defeating Middleweight favorite Cathal Pendred in more

  • 27 days ago
  • 37 views

Didn’t have a chance to catch the 11th episode of “The Ultimate Fighter 19: Team Edgar vs. Team Penn” on FOX Sports 1? Check out a quick recap of what you missed.Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 26 days ago
  • 41 views

The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale (TUF 19 Finale) Date: July 6, 2014 Venue: Mandalay Bay Events Center Location: Las Vegas TUF 19 Finale Articles TUF 19 Finale Videos TUF 19 Finale Fight Card Frankie Edgar (16-4-1) vs. BJ Penn (16-9-2) Justin Scoggins (9-0) vs. Dustin Ortiz (13-3) Derrick Lewis (10-2, 1 NC) vs. Guto Inocente [...] more

  • 20 days ago
  • 45 views

Join Bloody Elbow Wednesday night for live discussion of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Edgar vs. Team Penn. Tonight, the last episode of the regular season as the last two finalists are decided in a pair of semifinal fights. Join us tonight for episode 12 of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Edgar vs. Team Penn. The Ultimate Fighter airs on Fox Sports 1 starting at 10:00 p.m. ET. We'll have TUF discussion, right here at Bloody Elbow. Wel folks, we're finally here - the last episode of this season. And it' more

  • 20 days ago
  • 50 views

Episode No. 12 of "The Ultimate Fighter: Team Edgar vs. Team Penn" opens with Team Penn's middleweight semifinalist [autotag]Roger Zapata[/autotag] discussing his desire to defeat Team Edgar's [autotag]Dhiego Lima[/autotag] and reach the final. more