Werdum (21-7-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC), who meets Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) in the featured bout on UFC 216’s pay-per-view main card, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass, is only two fights removed from losing the heavyweight belt to Miocic by first-round knockout at UFC 198 in May 2016.
Despite the fact he’s also coming off a loss to Alistair Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC), who is scheduled to fight Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) in a crucial contender bout at UFC 218 in December, Werdum believes he can slide into the No. 1 contender spot vs. Miocic (17-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC) with an impressive performance against Lewis.
“I deserve (a title shot),” Werdum told MMAjunkie at today’s UFC 216 media day. “Stipe (hasn’t fought) for a long time. I don’t know how long, but he don’t fight for a long time. I think all three. Me, Overeem and Francis can go for the title shot. I think maybe, maybe, if Derrick Lewis beats me (he can get one). But he doesn’t deserve it at this moment to go for the title shot.
“I think a good fight, a good submission, a good knockout, fans will say, ‘Werdum, you’re the next one.’ … I believe I should go for the title shot again.”
At 40, Werdum’s timeframe to regain heavyweight gold is seemingly shrinking with each passing day. He said he’s healthy and injury-free going into UFC 216, though, and intends to deliver a performance that shows exactly what he’s capable of.
Werdum, No. 3 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings, has never lost consecutive fights during his career, and after the setback against Overeem at UFC 213 in July, he wants to use No. 12-ranked Lewis as a platform to not only bounce back, but prove he should be the one fighting Miocic next.
“I want to beat Derrick Lewis,” Werdum said. “I respect him a lo, because I know he’s a top fighter. He has a good punch, he has good kicks too. He’s in my way. My goal is the title shot again.”view original article >>