clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fabricio Werdum not afraid of Stipe Miocic but refuses to underestimate his UFC 198 opponent

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

There's been enough incredible upsets in the UFC in the past year to tell you that anything can happen on fight night.

Nobody knows that better than Fabricio Werdum, who defeated non-sea level Cain Velasquez in Mexico City at UFC 188.

But when Velasquez pulled out of his scheduled February rematch against Werdum, the Brazilian decided against late-replacement Stipe Miocic, drawing heavy criticism from fans and Irish superstars.

According to "Vai Cavalo" it had nothing to do with being a scaredy cat.

"I was criticized by some fans, but it was mostly people talking nonsense, saying I was scared of Miocic," Werdum told UFC on FOX. "I have been fighting for 18 years. Why would I be afraid of Miocic?"

Regardless of fears or otherwise, the pair have been re-booked for May 18 inside Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil, for UFC 198.

Despite fighting on home soil against a man who is currently a +164 underdog in Las Vegas, Werdum isn't going to make the mistake of looking past the 14-2 Miocic.

"I don't like it when people say one fight is easier than another. It's not true. Every match is different," Werdum said. "He's taller than Cain, it's different. I can't go in there thinking it'll be easier. I can't underestimate him."

Miocic has been a dangerous knockout artist in recent fights, with three violent finishes against Mark Hunt, Andrei Arlovski and Fabio Maldonado split between a five round war with Junior dos Santos.

Werdum, 20-5-1, is on a career resurgence himself, stringing together six consecutive victories in his second stint in UFC after migrating over from Strikeforce. In that winning streak the Brazilian has two knockouts and two submissions, including a performance of the night guillotine choke against Velasquez to win the heavyweight strap in his last outing.

As for being afraid, Werdum tells FOX he's afraid no man.

"I'm only afraid of my mom," he said.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania