The rematch between Strikeforce heavyweights Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem on Saturday night had been eagerly awaited for some month, but in the end it failed to live up to it’s promise, mainly due to the Brazilian’s reluctance to stand with the dangerous Dutch striker.
In the cold light of day Werdum admits that his strategy hindered more than it helped his cause, resulting in him crashing out of the strikeforce Heavyweight Grand-Prix at the first hurdle.
“It ended up being really bad to pull guard all the time, I burned a lot of energy, it was not good. When I was successful in the very end of the rounds, I found myself without much strength.” Werdum tells Portal Do Vale Tudo.
Werdum also confirmed that Overeem impressive physique is not just for show, and that his strength had a major impact on the way the fight panned out.
“I wanted to take him down, I tried the double-leg many times, the single leg, but I hit a wall. I felt the difference in strength a lot, he was impressively strong. It was not lack of training, because I trained a lot of wrestling with Mark Munoz and I was able to take everyone down in the gym, but in the fight it was different.”
While Werdum voices his frustration that in general fighters don’t want to compete with him on the ground due to his renowned BJJ abilities, he does hold his hands up and admit that on this occasion it was his own fault that he lost the bout due to his repeated avoidance of the stand-up battle despite even his own coach Rafael Cordeiro pleading with him to do so in-between rounds.
“I paid the price of not listening to my corner, to not exchange in the fight. For so long now Rafael would say something and I would follow, but I don’t know what happened this time, I did not believe, I was not there, I was on ‘autopilot’. Say what you will about me, but I’m being as sincere as I can be. I messed up, it was not the team, it was me. I did not do what I trained for, I made a tactical error, pulling guard like that was wrong of me to do.”
Having said that, despite the fact that Overeem ended up earning a unanimous decision victory in the bout, Werdum insists that the Strikeforce champion didn’t get the better of him on the night.
“The fight was not good for either of us, but he did not beat me, I lost (on my own).”
Werdum has also revealed this week that he hurt his knee in the second round of the fight and will now need an MRI. He is still determined to fight again before the year is out however, and that would be for the best as this past weekend’s performance is definitely not the sort of thing a fighter wants hanging over his head for an extended period of time.
The best thing would be for him to get back into the cage as soon as possible, get back to winning ways, and start to rebuild some of the momentum he gained when he submitted Fedor Emelianenko in a shock results in the Strikeforce cage a little over a year ago.