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!
Francis Ngannou does not move like most Heavyweights.
Speed kills ⚡️ #throwbackthursday pic.twitter.com/cwsdyrzokU— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) July 23, 2020
But then again, neither did Brock Lesnar! This is some crazy scrambling for such a big man.
Just two red-headed ginger jiu-jitsu guys who hate defense scrapping it out!
D.U.Jung out. Ed Herman will now fight Gerald Meerschaert at UFC event on August 1st. #UFC #MMA #UFCESPN pic.twitter.com/RIZzTAWoXz— MaRCeL DoRFF (@BigMarcel24) July 23, 2020
Despite all the chip talk, Darren Till and Robert Whittaker both look plenty dangerous ahead of their main event.
A pair of precocious kickboxers spar at Tiger Muay Thai:
Fake martial arts always keep the mood fun!
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Take a look back at some of Robert Whittaker’s best victories:
This is likely not the best possible defense from back mount.
Bryan Hansen TKO1 Luan Medeiros - Gladiator CF pic.twitter.com/jsBIfImeS5— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) July 22, 2020
Similarly, there’s a reason boxers are told to stay off the ropes!
Edgar Berlanga (14-0, 14 KO’s) keeps his KO-1 streak alive by crushing Eric Moon— Tim - Boxeo 拳闘 Boxen бокс มวย Boks 拳击 Box (@Hock1717) July 22, 2020
Anyone in the nearby area without eye brows is probably the prime suspect.
Midnight Music: Blues are good for the soul.
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.