For all intents and purposes, Fedor Emelianenko will forever be known as the greatest mixed martial arts (MMA) heavyweight of all time. This, despite the fact that he's never competed inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon.
But, when we look at the landscape of the big men, Fabricio Werdum seems to always be overlooked as a combatant deserving of that title. After all, he was the man who broke Fedor's ridiculous 10-year unbeaten streak.
Plus, he recently submitted Cain Velasquez -- a fighter many fans considered to be the one to give Fedor a run for the coveted title of G.O.A.T -- to claim the UFC heavyweight championship. He also knocked out tough-as-nails Mark Hunt to claim the interim belt, as well.
Regardless of his impressive resume, you'll never hear "Vai Cavalo" label himself as the greatest of all time. Because as he recently declared on The MMA Hour, it's up to the fans to decide who they praise as the best, not him.
"The guys have more respect for me. All the time I'm the underdog. Now, guys are changing their mind. I showed against Travis Browne, Mark Hunt. When I fought Hunt, everyone said Hunt would knock out Werdum for sure or Werdum submit him. But no one expected that I knock Mark Hunt down. Just look at my record. I beat Fedor Emelianenko for the first time. Travis Browne, Roy Nelson, Cain Velasquez. Cain, everyone knows he has good cardio, big heart. But, I break him, I finish him. I don't know what more guys want. I don't like to say this (that he's greatest of all time), it's like a prepotent (cocky). 'Oh, I'm the best.' That is not my style. I like when the fans say that. When the fans say that, I am very happy for sure. I get more motivation, but I don't like to say that. I'm a jiu-jitsu world champion, ADCC world champion twice. Three times jiu-jitsu and UFC heavyweight champion. But when I say that, people say, 'Werdum may be a little prepotent.' So I don't like that. But, nobody have a record like this. I'm very happy."
Hard to argue with the man. Though some will find a way to do it.
Werdum will look to add to his win total when he rematches the aforementioned Velasquez sometime in 2016. And though the bout is rumored to go down in a stadium in Brazil, Fabricio could not confirm the date or location at the moment.
Nevertheless, the Brazilian is more confident now than he was in their initial match. To show he's a good sport, he gave Cain a friendly warning, advising the former champ to stay away from his guard and his powerful right arm.