Fabricio Werdum won’t renew UFC contract after Gustafsson fight: “The cycle is over”

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Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum is considering all career options after the last fight of his current contract on Saturday. Paired with former light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson, “Vai Cavalo” believes his time in the UFC has been successful, but moving to different projects is necessary.

In an interview with Ag Fight, Werdum explained what prompted him to make the decision not to renew his contract. While he is grateful for all the opportunities and doors the UFC has opened for him, Fabricio now wants to be able to call again and not respond to a boss. At least not the same boss he’s been responding to for eight years.

“There is no possibility (to renew my UFC contract). »Said Werdum. “All those years with the UFC have been good. We had a good relationship. We sometimes disagreed, but these things happen in a normal relationship. I’m grateful to the UFC for all these years. This is practically where I made my career. I’ve always wanted to join the UFC and they’ve given me that opportunity twice. I was fired and asked to come back because I kept bothering them about it. But the cycle is over. It has been a good cycle so far. Now I want to continue my career, I want to do it my way. Maybe I will fight for a different company, I have fought for a lot of them, I want to have choices.

Even though Fabricio is sure this is his last UFC fight, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t take his opponent seriously. In fact, it was Werdum himself who chose to welcome Gustafsson into the heavyweight division, so leaving the Octagon with one final victory would be the perfect way for ‘Vai Cavalo’ to properly end his career at the UFC.

“It’s really important (to have Gustafsson as the last opponent in the UFC),” Werdum said. “Mainly because I chose him. I had a choice and I chose Gustafsson because he is a well-known guy. He has a name in the MMA world. He made a name for himself in light heavyweights. I wanted this fight to be important. I didn’t want it to be just another fight, against a newbie. The most important thing is to win, to have a good outing. I will do my best, I feel good. I want to leave through the front door.

In his last outing, Fabricio Werdum (23-9-1) gave up a split decision to Alexey Oleynik at UFC 249 in May. It was his first appearance since a reduced two-year ban for trenbolone, but USADA cut the length of its suspension after providing “substantial assistance.” The loss put the 42-year-old on a two-fight slippage, with a knockout loss to Alexander Volkov ahead of his ban from USADA. The former champion’s last victory came in November 2017, when he beat Marcin Tybura by unanimous decision.

Now Fabricio Werdum is set to face Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on ESPN 14 on July 25 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The card is expected to be titled with a middleweight bout between former champion Robert Whittaker and contender Darren Till.

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