By Guilherme Cruz
Being the leading figure of one of the biggest surprises on the history of MMA, Fabrício Werdum was all about laughter after the quick win by submission over Fedor Emelianenko, last night on Strikeforce. On the following day of the triangle with an arm-lock being applied on the Russian, the black belt talked to TATAME about his win. “The strategy was to calm him down and make some space so I could work”, celebrates, revealing a wish for his comeback to the rings: “I don’t want to give a step backwards and fight against Overeem. I want to fight against Fedor from 6 to 8 months from now in Russia, Rocky Balboa style… I’m sure the Brazilians can make much more noise than a million Russians can”, said, about the discredit of the Brazilian fans, the probable duel with Alistair Overeem and a lot more.
What did you think about the fight?
The expectations were high, I was well trained, they’ve changed my fighting day, I didn’t stop training… They scheduled it to April, then to May and I didn’t stop training, so, in fact, it end up being a good thing for me. I was physically great, 100% mentally, happy, gathered with my team, my family, my mom, my brother and my sister, the crew that came from Brazil, so the vibe was 100% positive. The guys from the event went crazy because we made a lot of noise. The Athletic Commission wanted to give us a fine because we were doing a huge mess, we showed our happiness for everybody, a great vibe, and it was the fight I felt best with myself, I was at ease on the ring, on the dressing room, on backstage, it was great.
You said once that the right strategy to beat Fedor would be to grab his neck, because he would never go for your arm or leg, and that was exactly what happened. Did you indeed use this strategy for the fight?
Yeah, not exactly the triangle, bur it would be on the ground… Could be a kimura, a rear naked choke… What we wanted was the submission, the rest was all part of the strategy to go for the ground as soon as possible, even if he came forward, I wanted to go for the ground. I couldn’t make my mind if I would go for his arm or his neck, I’d go one way, he defended himself, and then I went the other way, so that double attack was great, because while he defended his neck, I got his arm and tight the triangle… You can watch the video of the bout and you’ll see that I checked the feet, the shin, the arm, I checked it and I was going to stretch his arm right there. I grabbed his arm and he was about to tap out, but I didn’t work out, so I tight the triangle and it worked.
Did his punch caused a knockdown or did you lose your balance and felt?
It wasn’t a knockdown, it was more like I lost my balance because of the punch, but I’d go for the ground anyway, so I felt on the ground wanting to go there. It wasn’t a knockdown, not at all. I felt the blow, but it wasn’t that strong, I just lost my balance.
On that moment that you felt, did you already tried to pull his to your guard?
We don’t think about being hit and going to the ground, but when you get hit by him, even if you are a Muay Thai fighter and have a good standing game strategy, it’s good for you to go to the ground and try to work it on there. The strategy was to calm him down and make some space so that I could work.
How was the celebration after the fight?
It was a great party made especially for me with all my family, everybody. It was awesome.
After the fight you complimented Fedor and said you would like a rematch with him. Did the organizers said anything about that matter after the event?
No, they told me they’d see, so let’s enjoy this win and maybe they’ll put me to confront Overeem, but let’s see. I just beat the best of the world, I don’t want to give a step backwards and fight against Overeem. I want to fight against Fedor from 6 to 8 months from now in Russia, Rocky Balboa style.
How do you see this fight in his homeland?
I believe that the crowd will be with him, bur people will respect me and I’ll bring my guys. I’m sure that the Brazilians can make much more noise than a million of Russians.
Did you faced this win as a response for those who criticized you and did not believe on your win?
It’s hard for anyone to believe on a guy who’s getting in there as the underdog against a guy who’s considered as the best of the world, and now I want to send a big huge for those who cheered for me and for those who didn’t believes in me so that they understand that you can never underestimate someone.
And now, what are you planning to do?
I’ll go to Los Angeles to see my daughter and my wife, to eat a little bit, spend a whole week doing barbecues (laughs).
Your wife has not watched your fight, right?
She goes to the supermarket or somewhere else and waits for my call, she gets very tense. This was the best call ever.