The UFC heavyweight kingpin Fabricio Werdum is making the first defense of his undisputed version of the title tomorrow night in Curitiba, Brazil, at UFC 198. Werdum will face Stipe Miocic (14-2), winner of five of his last six fights. It’s been all upside since Fabricio returned to the UFC in 2012.
Werdum, 38, has won all six of his fights since then. He has a unique appreciation for his title because it took a lot of work to get the top status as THE Heavyweight champion. He won the interim title that was vacant by stopping Mark Hunt. Then nearly a year ago, Werdum defeated Cain Velasquez to win sole possession of the championship. “For me, it’s seriously the best championship, the UFC.
“It’s very important to me. In my head it’s not official, but it’s really my first defense,”
Werdum shared, “It’s important because of all the time it took to get here and I will defeat Miocic.”
Miocic, the American-born Croat, has done it all. A firefighter and paramedic in Ohio, Stipe is a natural athlete who excelled at baseball and wrestling.
He was originally set to fight Werdum as a replacement for an injured Cain Velasquez. But Fabricio pulled out of the fight. He is fully aware of his capabilities.
“He is a strong, good fighter,”
“At this level no fighter is easy.
It’s going to be difficult but I will win.”
You can except Werdum to have the edge with the home advantage as he is returning to Brazil for this defense. The home of numerous MMA champions, Fabricio will be quite motivated to do well.
“The fans expect a fight that will be very emotional, it’s in my home country,”
Fabricio admitted, “In front of my mother, my friends, all the people. I want this win very much. It will be a very beautiful when I come out on top.”
Werdum takes the role of champion seriously. He understands that not only is he considered Brazil’s champion, but all of Latin America will be rooting for him tomorrow.
“This fight is very important for the fans equally in Latin America, I am fine with everyone,”
Werdum explained, “I have a lot of friends in Mexico, all of Latin America.
I like being the official champion of all Latin America.
It’s going to be a good fight and I always have a reason to do well.