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Midnight Mania! Fabricio Werdum: bout with Alexander Gustafsson will be final UFC fight

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UFC 249 Oleinik v Werdum Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Fabricio Werdum will go down as one of the best Heavyweights in the history of the sport. With wins over legendary names like Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Cain Velasquez, Werdum’s resume is incredibly difficult to deny. Of course, picking up the UFC Heavyweight title in the process doesn’t hurt his standing either.

Werdum was signed back to the UFC roster in 2012 after being released in 2008, following a largely successful run in Strikeforce. Unfortunately, a run-in with USADA saw the Brazilian suspended for 14 months. During that time, Werdum publicly requested UFC release him from the final two fights on his contract.

His request was denied.

Now just a couple days away from fulfilling that second fight, Werdum has confirmed he still wants to explore his options with other promotions.

“There’s no possibility (of renewing my UFC contract).” Werdum told AG Fight (transcription via BloodyElbow). “All those years with the UFC have been good. We had a good relationship. We disagreed sometimes, but those things happen in a normal relationship. I’m thankful to the UFC for all these years. It’s practically where I made my career. I’ve always wanted to join the UFC and they gave me that opportunity twice. I was fired and asked to come back because I kept bothering them about it. But the cycle is over. It was a good cycle so far. Now I want to move on with my career, I want to do it my way. Maybe I’ll fight for a different company, I’ve fought for many of them, I want to have choices.”

In addition, Werdum elaborated on the importance of performing well in his final bout with the promotion.

“It’s really important (to have Gustafsson as his last opponent in the UFC),” Werdum said. “Especially because I chose him. I had some choices and I chose Gustafsson because he’s a well-known guy. He has a name in the MMA world. He made a name for himself at light heavyweight. I wanted this fight to be important. I didn’t want it to be just another fight, against some beginner. The most important thing is to win, to have a good outing. I’ll do my best, I feel well. I want to leave through the front door.”

Werdum may not be much of a title threat anymore, but his absence will likely still be felt in a somewhat shallow Heavyweight division. In addition, it will be interesting to see where Werdum lands should he really jump ship. The list of promotions running shows right now is shorter than usual, but Bellator is starting to hold shows again, and Werdum has worked with Scott Coker in the past!


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‪Holy crap the athleticism!!! @BrockLesnar ‬

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