Don’t expect Fabricio Werdum to cross over to Strikeforce in the near future — or at any point in the future.
With many fans clamoring for a Werdum vs. Daniel Cormier matchup, the UFC heavyweight contender’s manager Lucas Pires today told theScore.com that although Werdum would accept a fight against the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix winner, the fight would have to take place in the UFC, not in Strikeforce.
“Fabricio had a very good career in Strikeforce but our goal now is to fight in the UFC,” Pires said. “So I don’t think going back to Strikeforce would be a good strategy and that’s not our direction. We’re very happy in the UFC and I don’t see why we’d go back. I think Daniel Cormier is a great fighter but that would be an amazing fight for a UFC pay-per-view, not for Strikeforce.”
Pires reiterated that his client is fully focused on making a run towards the UFC heavyweight championship, and is eying a rematch with 265-pound kingpin Junior dos Santos. The two first met at UFC 90, and Werdum, as a heavy favourite, was knocked out in devastating fashion by dos Santos, who was making his UFC debut, and immediately released from his contract.
“We want dos Santos and we want a title shot against him,” Pires said. “That’s what we are working for. At that time, Fabricio made a lot of mistakes in his career. He wasn’t as professional as he is now. For sure right now he’s a different fighter, a complete fighter and he understands the business, he knows what to do to get the win. For sure this time it would be different.
“He fought dos Santos when he was a nobody and he lost and he got in trouble. But we got to learn our lesson.”
With that being said, Pires said that Werdum will fight anyone that the UFC puts in front of him, although he would preferably like to fight in a title eliminator against a top contender in his next matchup.
“We never choose our opponents,” Pires said. “I never choose who Fabricio’s going to fight. We just want the next guy to take him to the title shot. That’s the only thing we want. Whoever Joe Silva decides to put him in to fight we’re going to take it.”