Sunday, March 25, 2007

Werdum On Leaving PRIDE For UFC, Arlovski Fight, Much More

The following is an interview with new UFC fighter Fabricio Werdum, conducted by the TATAME website, translated from Portaguese to English:

How was the change from the Pride to the UFC?

My manager Ken May said that I was going to fight at the Pride 33, but it seems that they didn’t accept the purse we asked them, so he thought that was better for me to go fighting at UFC. He didn’t explain to me very well, but I know they will pay me much better there, I think almost double that I am receiving at the Pride organization.

But didn’t you have a contract with the Pride?

No, my contract is with Ken May, my contract finishes on December and I want to renovate. I want to be the champion this year. I am at UFC now so I want to be the champion there. I did a contract of four bouts with the UFC and I want to dispute the belt on the third or on the fourth bout of my contract.

You were Cro Cop’s trainer during some time and you both always said that you didn’t want to face each other. He also left the Pride for the UFC and also wants the belt…

If we have to face each other some day, we will. He wants the belt as like me. We will try to avoid this to happen, because we were from the same team, we have the same manager and we are friends. He wants me to go back there to train. I went recently to do some seminars in and then I went and we enjoyed the opportunity to meet him and I wanted to know how he was going on. We talked a lot.

You faced and defeated Gabriel Napão Gonzaga at Jungle Fight. Now he is also at UFC and you can possibly face each other to get the belt. How would be this bout against him today?

Napão is pretty well now, he had only one defeat I think, that was for me at the Jungle Fight. I think that this fight would be much different today. They are both more professionals and at that bout we didn’t have the same technique. I wish to face him again and if I have to face him to get this belt we will fight.

How is your trainings now?

I suffered an operation on my throat and nose in the beginning of the year. I spent three weeks at home to feel myself better, but I am back to trainings now. I have been training the ground game with Mário Reis and Márcio Fortes, who is also a black belt. And I am doing the preparation with a Cuban fighter who is here with me and I am always training Boxing with Cafuringa.

What do you expect from this bout against Andrei Arlovski?

When we don’t know when our next bout will be held we didn’t get so motivated, but now I have this fight against Arlovski and I am pretty excited. I like to face tough guys, famous guys like Arlovski, he is former champion of this category. I don’t like to face someone who is starting now. Arlovski is dangerous standed up, he likes to do the counter attack, but I am training much Boxing. If I have to exchange punches with him I will and if I had the opportunity to take him down will be much better, because my good game is the BJJ. I will train a lot to do a good bout and be able to dispute the belt soon.

What did you think about Wanderlei Silva and Rogério Minotouro’s bouts at Pride 33? Where do you think they were wrong?

Minotouro was really well prepared. His adversary can be good, but I think that his cross punch was luck. He did that blow for luck. Minotouro has not a bad chin, but that cross punch attacked him hardly. If they face each other again, Minotouro will win. But talking about Wanderlei, I really think Dan Henderson was better than him. I think the American athlete wanted it much more. Wanderlei didn’t make a mistake, he had suffered a punch before, and so he was KO’d with that cross punch.

Who do you think that was able to defeat Henderson until 83kg and until 93kg?

Until 83kg I think Paulão Filho defeats him easily and until 93kg the man is Maurício Shogun.


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