When news of current heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez’s injury first filtered through late last year, current No.1 contender Fabricio Werdum’s initial reaction was that he’d just wait it out in order to preserve his title shot, but now he says he’s changed his mind.
“I had a meeting with Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta and told them I wanted to wait, but then I thought about it and saw that I would need to wait too much before my next fight,” Werdum tells MMAfighting.com in a new interview.
That’s Werdum’s version of events, but what he doesn’t mention is the fact that not longer after that initial meeting took place, White made it clear to the media that due to the fact that Velasquez won’t be back until late in the year, there’s no chance that Werdum would be allowed to sit on the sidelines.
In the mean time Browne established himself as the man most qualified to fight Werdum after he dispatched Josh Barnett with vicious elbows inside a round at UFC 168 in December – his third win by KO in a row over the course of the past year.
According to Werdum, while the fight isn’t official yet, the UFC are targeting a five round main event fight between him and Browne for March.
If Werdum is right about this fight being a headliner then don’t be surprised if it gets shifted further back into the calendar as a quick look at the UFC’s current schedule shows they already have three events planned for March with headline fights already firmly set in place.
Dong Hyun Kim Vs John Hathaway headlines the TUF: China Finale on March 1st, Alexander Gustafsson Vs Jimi Manuwa is the main event for UFC Fight Night 35 in London on March 8th, and UFC 171 is fronted by a vacant welterweight title fight pitting Johny Hendricks Vs Robbie Lawler on March 15th.
It could be that the UFC have something else planned for later that month, but it seems more likely at this stage that it’ll land in either April or May.