With everyone busy trying to get their piece of the $4 billion pie following the UFC sale, fights just aren't coming together like they used to. Things are particularly bad in the promotion's heavyweight division, where even the few fights that come together keep falling apart. After Junior dos Santos lost his UFC Fight Night: Halifax opponent Stefan Struve to injury, he tried to get a fight with Fabricio Werdum, who had also just missed a payday following Cain Velasquez's latest pull out.
"The right thing now would be for me to fight Werdum," dos Santos said. "Everybody knows there is a rivalry between us. That would be a great moment for everybody, but he doesn't want the fight."
"The fight with ‘Cigano’ would be without any guarantee that I would get a title shot after that," Werdum explained to Brazilian news outlet AG Fight (via MMA Weekly). "So me and my team realized that wouldn't be the deal that I signed for. If you wanna smile, you have to make me smile too!”
But maybe the rivalry between Junior and Fabricio is getting heated enough that a chance to punch dos Santos in the face is smile enough. He just posted a pretty explicit letter on his Facebook page challening ‘Cigano’ to a gym battle. Via Google Translate:
"I saw that Stipe Miocic is having a contract problem, he wants to increase the bag to renew, so if he does not fight, as I am the first in the ranking, I challenge Gypsy to a fight for the interim belt. And that's not all. After this fight, regardless of the outcome, I go to his gym [American Top Team] to fight inside, me and him, business man himself, to end this clown talk that I'm running away. I'll show him who runs away, show him how it used to be in the old days, show him he's a f*cking girl who arrived yesterday and is playing the fool. Whoever wins this fight behind closed doors will have the right to post the result on social networks to see who is who."
"I'll call [ATT coach] Liborio who is my friend, respect him a lot, and as a sign of respect, warn him that I'm coming with my team to fight with Gypsy. I take the plane with Rafael Cordeiro and my brothers and I go to his gym to do a fight behind closed doors, until someone knocks out, there is no time, there is no round, there is nothing, no such business to stop because it is not holding up. Why, are you tired? Just for when someone taps or gets knocked out, in the same old fashion."
"He's talking bullsh*t, saying I'm a lie that worked, and I'm going to show him that it's not like that. He's thinking that I'm that fighter of the past, but I'm going to show reality to him. This is the challenge I'm throwing for Cigano, who is retarded, just talking bullsh*t, I think it's the effect of the blows he took from Cain Velásquez."
Unfortunately for us, it doesn't sound like a proper cage fight between the two is any closer to realization. Werdum still wants a title shot for the match-up, and he seems to be hoping the interim-happy UFC might throw him a fake belt if negotiations with Stipe Miocic take a bad turn.
Anything is possible in this mysterious world the new WME-IMG owners have plunged us into, but I doubt the more serious fans amongst us are excited about the prospect of yet another interim belt floating around, even if it gives us a great fight like Fabricio Werdum versus Junior Dos Santos.
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