Fabricio Werdum  has been fighting for the Ultimate Fighting Championship for almost a decade. But, it sounds like the former heavyweight champ is set on fighting for a different promotion, following his bout today with Alexander Gustafsson .
There is reportedly “no possibility” Werdum returns to the UFC
The 42-year-old Werdum will face Gustafsson today on the main card of UFC Fight Island 3, which will be his 14th bout with the promotion. Werdum moved to the UFC in 2012, and if you’re a big fan you know he eventually won the UFC’s heavyweight crown in 2015, before losing it in 2016 (to current champ, Stipe Miocic).
Well ahead of today’s fight, the charismatic fighter spoke with AG Fight . According to a follow-up report from Bloody Elbow, Werdum relayed that he is completing his current contract today, and that he has no intention of resigning with the UFC.
“There’s no possibility (of renewing my UFC contract).” Werdum said. “All those years with the UFC have been good. We had a good relationship.
We disagreed sometimes, but those things happen in a normal relationship. I’m thankful to the UFC for all these years. It’s practically where I made my career.
I’ve always wanted to join the UFC and they gave 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 was a good cycle so far. Now I want to move on with my career, I want to do it my way.
Maybe I’ll fight for a different company, I’ve fought for many of them, I want to have choices.”
So, considering what Werdum has accomplished to date, and where he’s at in his career, his plan here isn’t that surprising. Especially when you consider that after Werdum was flagged and suspended by USADA , the UFC didn’t grant his release like he requested.
Even if Werdum loses today to Gustafsson, he’ll still command a lot of attention on the free-agent market. Free agency will allow him to pick and chose bouts, and where he wants to compete.
For example, it wouldn’t be shocking at all if he moved to say Bellator, for a rematch with Fedor Emelianenko. Or, if he took a fight with RIZN FF in Japan, say, for the promotion’s New Year’s Eve card.
A fight with an Eastern European promotion like ACA or Fight Nights Global could also materialize.
UFC Fight Island 3 is taking place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.