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Fabricio Werdum: I always believed in myself
Speaking at the post fight press conference last night, Fabricio Werdum remained as respectful as ever towards the Russian legend he defeated last night, Fedor Emilienenko. Werdum will no doubt have gained many fans with his truly gracious attitude which he displayed after his 69 second destruction of a fighting legend, in what Joe Rogan must surely agree, was the biggest upset in MMA history.
Speaking to reporters less than an hour after sending shockwaves through the Strikeforce roster, Vai Cavalo told them how he had full confidence in his own abillities right from the start. “I looked at Fedor, and I was confident because my training is hard training. I know this is Fedor, but I believe in myself. I trained on the ground,” Werdum said. “I trained standup. I trained wrestling. [King Mo], the champion, helped me. I trained everything, but the plan was on the ground because I started in jiu-jitsu. I’m training all the time in jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, wrestling, boxing.”
When asked about the punch that dropped him, which ultimately led to The Last Emperor’s defeat, Werdum told how he has no memeory of the shots. “I don’t remember the fight right now,” Werdum admitted. “I don’t have a memory of it right now. Fedor punched me? I’m not joking,” he added, when the room erupted in laughter, presuming it was a joke “I’m serious. Maybe those punches affected my mind. He’s a strong guy.”
With what can only be described in a master class of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Werdum needed just 69 seconds to do what so many legends of the sport before him had failed to do, and force Fedor to tap. “My finish is good,” he said. “It’s a strong triangle. I tried to choke the neck, too. After the armbar, I changed it (back and forth) maybe four times. One time I went strong on the arm, but Fedor tried to defend. I gripped my shin, and after I tried the armbar one more time, Fedor maybe tapped – the fake tap – and I tried the neck again. I wanted [the fight] on the ground,” he added. “Maybe I’d try a triangle, or I’d try a kimura or a leglock, but I saw the triangle [first]. I saw the chance, and I didn’t let it go.”
With such a shocking win, Werdum’s next move is uncertain. So many, myself included, had written him off before the fight, presuming we would today be talking about Fedor vs Overeem, but such is not the case. Werdum’s win leaves Strikeforce with a less obvious path, mainly either a rematch between Emilienenko and Werdum, or a well deserved title shot, with Werdum vs Overeem for the Strikeforce Heavyweight belt.
With arguably his two biggest fighters, Fedor and Dan Henderson, both falling victim to shock losses, Scott Coker has some stressful decisions to make on Monday morning.