Fabrício Werdum

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Fabrício Werdum
Born (1977-07-30) July 30, 1977 (age 38)
Porto Alegre, Brazil
Other names Vai Cavalo (Go Horse)
Residence Los Angeles, California, United States
Nationality Brazilian
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)[1]
Weight 236 lb (107 kg; 16 st 12 lb)
Division Heavyweight (265 lb)
Reach 77.0 in (196 cm)[2]
Fighting out of Los Angeles, California, United States
Team Kings MMA
Werdum Combat Team
Akhmat Fight Club[3]
Rank 2nd degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Octávio "Ratinho" Couto[4]
Black belt in Judo[5]
Black belt in Muay Thai under Rafael Cordeiro[6]
Years active 2002–present (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
Total 26
Wins 20
By knockout 6
By submission 10
By decision 4
Losses 5
By knockout 1
By decision 4
Draws 1
Other information
Notable students Mirko Filipović
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Fabrício Werdum
Medal record
Competitor for  Brazil
Men's submission grappling
ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships
Silver medal – second place 2011 Nottingham +99 kg
Gold medal – first place 2009 Barcelona +99 kg
Gold medal – first place 2007 New Jersey +99 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2005 Long Beach +99 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2003 São Paulo Open
Silver medal – second place 2003 São Paulo +99 kg
IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu Championships
Gold medal – first place 2004 Rio de Janeiro +100 kg (Black)
Bronze medal – third place 2004 Rio de Janeiro Open (Black)
Gold medal – first place 2003 Rio de Janeiro +100 kg (Black)
Bronze medal – third place 2002 Rio de Janeiro -100 kg (Brown)
Silver medal – second place 2001 Rio de Janeiro Open (Purple)
Gold medal – first place 2000 Rio de Janeiro Open (Blue)
Gold medal – first place 2000 Rio de Janeiro -100 kg (Blue)
Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Championships
Silver medal – second place 2003 Open (Black)
Bronze medal – third place 2003 +100 kg (Black)
Gold medal – first place 2002 -100 kg (Brown)
Gold medal – first place 2001 Open kg (Purple)
Gold medal – first place 2001 -100 kg (Purple)
Gold medal – first place 2000 -100 kg (Blue)

Fabrício Werdum (Portuguese pronunciation: [faˈbɾisju veʁˈdũ]; born July 30, 1977) is a Brazilian mixed martial artist and the current UFC Heavyweight Champion. He is also a two-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion, a two-time Abu Dhabi Combat Club World Heavyweight Champion and European jiu-jitsu champion. He holds black belts in Brazilian jiu-jitsu,[4] Judo,[5] and Muay Thai.[6] Werdum has competed in PRIDE, the UFC, Strikeforce, and Jungle Fight.[7]

As of January 19, 2016, he is ranked #5 in official UFC pound-for-pound rankings[8] and ranked as the #1 heavyweight and #10 pound-for-pound fighter in the world by Sherdog.[9][10]

He was the first fighter to decisively defeat Fedor Emelianenko in mixed martial arts.


Born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Werdum started training Brazilian jiu-jitsu after being choked unconscious with a triangle choke by his then-girlfriend's ex-boyfriend. He trained with Marcio Corleta at the Porto Alegre Academy, Winner Behring. After success in competitive Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission wrestling, he started his career in MMA. He arrived in Spain to join his mother, who had moved to the city of Madrid some years before. At the age of 22[citation needed], soon after his arrival in Spain, when he was just a purple belt, he started teaching the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu in Madrid and other cities of Spain. Despite only training with white and blue belts, he became a BJJ World Champion, being promoted to the rank of black belt by Master Sylvio Behring three years later.[11]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Werdum's early fights were with the promotions Jungle Fight, Millennium Brawl, and World Absolute Fight. He boasted a 4–0–1 record, including a win against BJJ specialist Gabriel Gonzaga. He was Mirko Filipović’s sparring partner at that time and the Croat was the main reason for his debut in PRIDE.

PRIDE Fighting Championships[edit]

Werdum in 2007.

In 2005, Werdum made his PRIDE debut against Tom Erikson, winning by submission. Later that year he faced Roman Zentsov in PRIDE Final Conflict 2005, he was able to defeat Zentsov by a triangle choke in 6:01 of the first round. Werdum then had the first loss in his MMA career, when he lost to Sergei Kharitonov via split decision in PRIDE 30. Then in early 2006, Werdum defeated Jon Olav Einemo by unanimous decision in PRIDE 31.

He accumulated a record of 3–1 in PRIDE before entering the 2006 Pride Open Weight Grand Prix. His first match of the tournament was against Dutch fighter Alistair Overeem, and he won via kimura in the second round. He then faced former PRIDE Heavyweight Champion, Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira in the quarter finals, losing via decision.

Fabricio then had a short stint in 2 Hot 2 Handle, facing Alexander Emelianenko in a Heavyweight bout, and beating the Russian by submission via arm triangle choke.

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Fabricio Werdum debuted in the UFC on 21 April 2007 at UFC 70: Nations Collide. He faced former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski, losing via unanimous decision. He began to train in Brazil at Chute Boxe Academy and he is now more aggressive, showing improvement in striking, particularly his Muay Thai. At UFC 80 on January 19, 2008, Werdum met Gabriel Gonzaga in a rematch. Werdum won the bout by TKO. He weathered an early striking onslaught only to secure the Muay Thai clinch and connect with several knee strikes before taking Gonzaga to the ground and finishing him with punches. Werdum's next fight was against Brandon Vera at UFC 85. He defeated Vera by TKO in the 1st round. Werdum achieved full mount with less than 30 seconds to go in the round and connected with a number of unanswered punches. The decision to stop the bout was booed due to the small amount of time remaining in the round, although the official time of stoppage was 4:40.

In his next fight at UFC 90, Werdum was heavily favored to win but was knocked out in 1:20 of the first round via uppercut by Junior dos Santos. After the loss Werdum's contract was terminated by the UFC.[12] Since Werdum was not contacted directly about the termination he had no idea he had been cut and initially denied the news of him no longer being in the UFC as just a rumor.[13]


After leaving the UFC Werdum then signed with Strikeforce.[7] He made his debut at Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg on August 15, 2009, against fellow UFC veteran Mike "MAK" Kyle. He won by submission in 1:24 of the first round. Werdum followed that up with a unanimous decision victory over Antônio "Bigfoot" Silva at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers.

Werdum faced former Pride Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko on June 26, 2010, at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum. In an enormous upset victory, Werdum forced Fedor to tap via triangle/armbar 1:09 into the first round.[14][15] The victory ended Emelianenko's 28-fight unbeaten streak[14][16] while propelling Werdum's status up the Heavyweight rankings. He was ranked as the third best Heavyweight in MMA by Sherdog.[17] The victory over Fedor also gave him the distinction of being the only man to hold victories over both of the Emelianenko brothers.

A rematch with Alistair Overeem took place on June 18, 2011, at Strikeforce: Dallas as part of an eight-man Heavyweight Tournament. Werdum lost to Overeem by unanimous decision. He has received some criticism for "pleading" Overeem to fight him on the ground in order to get into a position favourable to him due to his Brazilian jiu-jitsu background.[18]

Ultimate Fighting Championship return and Heavyweight title[edit]

On November 8, 2011, Werdum made his return to the UFC via contract-signing. It was speculated that his return fight might be against Brendan Schaub, a fight he expressed an interest in.[19] The bout, however, did not materialize.

Instead, for his return match, Werdum faced Roy Nelson at UFC 143 on February 4, 2012.[20] He won the fight via unanimous decision. The back and forth action earned Fight of the Night honors.

Werdum next faced Mike Russow on June 23, 2012 at UFC 147.[21] Werdum won the match against Russow in the first-round via TKO.

Werdum coached opposite Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira on the second season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. The two met in a rematch at the conclusion of the season, on June 8, 2013 at UFC on Fuel TV: Nogueira vs. Werdum.[22] He won the fight via verbal submission due to an armbar in the second round. The victory also gives him the distinction of being the only fighter to hold submission victories over both Fedor Emelianenko and Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira both whom were former PRIDE FC Heavyweight Champions.

Werdum faced Travis Browne at UFC on Fox 11 in a Heavyweight title eliminator bout.[23] Despite being a betting underdog and considered at a disadvantage in terms of striking, Werdum dominated the fight for nearly all five rounds. He won the fight via unanimous decision.[24]

On April 29, 2014, the UFC announced that Werdum and current champion Cain Velasquez had been selected as coaches for the inaugural installment of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America, with the two expected to face each other on November 15, 2014 at UFC 180.[25]

On October 21, 2014, it was announced that Velasquez pulled out of the bout due to a knee injury. Werdum instead faced Mark Hunt for the interim UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 180.[26][27] Despite being dropped by punches early on, he won the fight via TKO in the second round, becoming the new UFC interim Heavyweight Champion.[28] The win also earned Werdum his first Performance of the Night bonus award.[29]

A rescheduled bout with Velasquez took place on June 13, 2015 at UFC 188 in Mexico City.[30] In a back-and-forth affair, Werdum won the fight in the third round by guillotine choke submission.[31] The win earned Werdum his second consecutive Performance of the Night bonus award.[32] With the victory, Werdum unified the UFC's heavyweight titles and became the undisputed champion.[33]

A rematch with Velasquez was expected to take place on February 6, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 82.[34] However, Velasquez pulled out of the bout due to a back injury on January 23 and was replaced by Stipe Miocic.[35] On the following day, Werdum announced that he was pulling out of the event due to an injury as well.[36] The bout with Miocic is expected to be rescheduled and take place on May 14, 2016 at UFC 198.[37]

Schools and instruction[edit]

Until November 2006, Werdum was the Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach to Mirko Filipović and is associated with Team Werdum BJJ Academy, located in Zagreb, Croatia [1]. Also until 2008 Fabricio Werdum was a BJJ head coach in Madrid, Spain for the Barcelo Boxing Gym. Werdum is currently training with Kings MMA team.[2]

Werdum currently teaches in Venice, CA at his new school Werdum Combat Team.[38]

On October 4, 2015 Werdum signed a contract with Chechen Akhmat Fight Club and he will represent this club.[39]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

  • FightMatrix
    • 2010 Upset of the Year vs. Fedor Emelianenko on June 26
    • Lineal MMA Heavyweight Champion (two times, current)

Submission grappling[edit]

  • International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation
    • 2004 IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu Championships Black Belt Gold Medalist
    • 2003 IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu Championships Black Belt Absolute Bronze Medalist
    • 2003 IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu Championships Black Belt Gold Medalist
    • 2003 Pan American Championships Black Belt Absolute Silver Medalist
    • 2003 Pan American Championships Black Belt Bronze Medalist
    • 2002 IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu Championships Brown Belt Bronze Medalist
    • 2002 Pan American Championships Brown Belt Gold Medalist
    • 2001 IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu Championships Purple Belt Silver Medalist
    • 2001 Pan American Championships Purple Belt Absolute Gold Medalist
    • 2001 Pan American Championships Purple Belt Gold Medalist
    • 2000 IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu Championships Blue Belt Absolute Gold Medalist
    • 2000 IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu Championships Blue Belt Gold Medalist
    • 2000 Pan American Championships Blue Belt Gold Medalist
  • ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship
    • 2011 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships Silver Medalist
    • 2009 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships Gold Medalist
    • 2007 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships Gold Medalist
    • 2005 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships Bronze Medalist
    • 2003 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships Absolute Bronze Medalist
    • 2003 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships Silver Medalist

Personal life[edit]

Fabricio has two daughters with his wife.[41] Werdum speaks English and is fluent in Spanish, having lived in Spain for 10 years, and as his mother is of Spanish descent.[42]

From 2004 to 2006, Werdum lived and trained together with Mirko Filipović in Zagreb, Croatia.[43]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 20–5–1 Cain Velasquez Submission (guillotine choke) UFC 188 June 13, 2015 3 2:13 Mexico City, Mexico Won and unified the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Win 19–5–1 Mark Hunt TKO (flying knee and punches) UFC 180 November 15, 2014 2 2:27 Mexico City, Mexico Won the Interim UFC Heavyweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Win 18–5–1 Travis Browne Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox 11 April 19, 2014 5 5:00 Orlando, Florida, United States
Win 17–5–1 Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira Submission (armbar) UFC on Fuel TV 10 June 8, 2013 2 2:41 Fortaleza, Brazil
Win 16–5–1 Mike Russow TKO (punches) UFC 147 June 23, 2012 1 2:28 Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Win 15–5–1 Roy Nelson Decision (unanimous) UFC 143 February 4, 2012 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Fight of the Night.
Loss 14–5–1 Alistair Overeem Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum June 18, 2011 3 5:00 Dallas, Texas, United States Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal.
Win 14–4–1 Fedor Emelianenko Submission (triangle armbar) Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum June 26, 2010 1 1:09 San Jose, California, United States
Win 13–4–1 Antônio Silva Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers November 7, 2009 3 5:00 Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States
Win 12–4–1 Mike Kyle Submission (guillotine choke) Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg August 15, 2009 1 1:24 San Jose, California, United States
Loss 11–4–1 Junior dos Santos KO (punches) UFC 90 October 25, 2008 1 1:20 Rosemont, Illinois, United States
Win 11–3–1 Brandon Vera TKO (punches) UFC 85 June 7, 2008 1 4:40 London, United Kingdom
Win 10–3–1 Gabriel Gonzaga TKO (punches) UFC 80 January 19, 2008 2 4:34 Newcastle, United Kingdom
Loss 9–3–1 Andrei Arlovski Decision (unanimous) UFC 70 April 21, 2007 3 5:00 Manchester, United Kingdom
Win 9–2–1 Alexander Emelianenko Submission (arm-triangle choke) 2H2H: Pride & Honor November 12, 2006 1 3:24 Rotterdam, Netherlands
Loss 8–2–1 Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira Decision (unanimous) Pride Critical Countdown Absolute July 1, 2006 3 5:00 Saitama, Japan 2006 Pride Open-Weight Grand Prix Quarterfinal.
Win 8–1–1 Alistair Overeem Submission (kimura) Pride Total Elimination Absolute May 5, 2006 2 3:43 Osaka, Japan 2006 Pride Open-Weight Grand Prix 1st Round.
Win 7–1–1 John-Olav Einemo Decision (unanimous) Pride 31 February 26, 2006 3 5:00 Saitama, Japan
Loss 6–1–1 Sergei Kharitonov Decision (split) Pride 30 October 23, 2005 3 5:00 Saitama, Japan
Win 6–0–1 Roman Zentsov Submission (triangle armbar) Pride Final Conflict 2005 August 28, 2005 1 6:01 Saitama, Japan
Win 5–0–1 Tom Erikson Submission (rear-naked choke) Pride 29 February 20, 2005 1 5:29 Saitama, Japan
Win 4–0–1 Ebenezer Fontes Braga KO (punch) Jungle Fight 2 May 15, 2004 2 1:28 Manaus, Brazil
Win 3–0–1 Gabriel Gonzaga TKO (punches) Jungle Fight 1 September 13, 2003 3 2:11 Manaus, Brazil
Win 2–0–1 Kristof Midoux Submission (triangle armbar) WAFF 2 March 22, 2003 1 4:11 Marrakech, Morocco
Draw 1–0–1 James Zikic Draw Millennium Brawl 8 September 22, 2002 3 5:00 High Wycombe, United Kingdom 1 point deduction for Werdum for illegal knee to grounded opponent.
Win 1–0 Tengiz Tedoradze Submission (triangle choke) Millennium Brawl 7 June 16, 2002 1 0:00 High Wycombe, United Kingdom

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fight Card - UFC 188 Velasquez vs. Werdum". UFC.com. Retrieved June 14, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Fight Card - UFC Fight Night Werdum vs. Browne". UFC.com. Retrieved April 21, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Werdum in Akhmat Fight Club". expertmma.ru. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Werdum gets his 2nd degree black belt before Fedor fight!". GrapplingWeekly. June 22, 2010. Retrieved April 9, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Shnerer, Ariel (June 25, 2010). "Preview of Fedor-Werdum, Strikeforce card". MSN.FoxSports.com. Retrieved April 9, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Werdum Pessimistic About the Conclusion of Strikeforce GP, Receives Black Belt in Muay Thai". BloodyElbow.com. Retrieved April 9, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Fabricio Werdum joins Strikeforce heavyweight roster". 
  8. ^ "Fighter Rankings - UFC ®". UFC. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  9. ^ "Sherdog's Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings". sherdog.com. December 13, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Sherdog.com’s Pound-for-Pound Top 10". sherdog.com. 
  11. ^ Sylvio Behring Official Black Belt Family Tree URL accessed on October 21, 2010.
  12. ^ http://steverattlesnake.cliquezone.com/2010/07/werdum-on-the-ufc-they-kind-of-used-me-and-threw-me-out/
  13. ^ "Werdum Reportedly Released From UFC; Heavyweight Denies Departure". Retrieved 12 July 2015. 
  14. ^ a b http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Fedor-Emelianenko-1500 Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko MMA Stats, Pictures, News, Videos, Biography, and More – Sherdog.com
  15. ^ http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2010/6/26/1539463/strikeforce-fedor-vs-werdum – Strikeforce Fedor vs Werdum Results – Fedor Emelianenko Taps Out to Fabricio Werdum – Bloody Elbow
  16. ^ Pugmire, Lance. Strikeforce: Fabricio Werdum defeats Fedor Emelianenko in shocker, The Los Angeles Times, June 26, 2010, retrieved July 12, 2010
  17. ^ "Fedor Emelianenko aims for the "United Russia" spot in Belgorod Regional Congress; Training camp Pictures". 
  18. ^ "Strikeforce officially announces April's "Diaz vs. Daley," grand prix event for June". mmajunkie.com. March 2, 2011. 
  19. ^ "UFC 141 – Fabricio Werdum rumoured to be facing Brendan Schaub December 30th in Las Vegas, Nevada". mmabay.co.uk. November 8, 2011. 
  20. ^ "Roy Nelson vs. Fabricio Werdum slotted for UFC 143 in February". mmajunkie.com. December 14, 2011. 
  21. ^ Ariel Helwani (March 9, 2012). "Fabricio Werdum vs. Mike Russow Slated for June". mmafighting.com. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  22. ^ Staff (2013-03-12). "Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Fabricio Werdum official for UFC on FUEL TV 10". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  23. ^ Steven Marrocco (2014-01-13). "UFC on FOX 11 heads to Florida with Werdum vs. Browne, Tate vs. Carmouche". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-01-13. 
  24. ^ Cole, Ross (19 April 2014). "Fabricio Werdum Outstrikes Travis Browne To Decision Victory At UFC On FOX 11". Fight of the Night. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  25. ^ Staff (April 29, 2014). "Cain Velasquez, Fabricio Werdum coach 'TUF: Latin America,' fight in November". mmajunkie.com. 
  26. ^ "Cain Velasquez Injured; Fabricio Werdum vs. Mark Hunt New UFC 180 Main Event". UFC. Retrieved 12 July 2015. 
  27. ^ "Cain Velasquez injures knee; Mark Hunt to fight Fabricio Werdum for interim heavyweight title". Yahoo Sports. 22 October 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2015. 
  28. ^ Mike Chiari (15 Nov 2014). "Werdum vs. Hunt Results: Winner, Recap and Analysis from UFC 180". bleacherreport.com. 
  29. ^ Matt Erickson (2014-11-15). "UFC 180 bonuses: Werdum, Gastelum, Briones, Cannetti win $50,000". mmajunkie.com. 
  30. ^ Staff (2015-02-23). "Cain Velasquez vs. Fabricio Werdum official for UFC 188 in Mexico in June". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-02-23. 
  31. ^ Steven Marrocco (2015-06-14). "UFC 188 results: Fabricio Werdum taps out Cain Velasquez for shocking title upset". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-06-14. 
  32. ^ Matt Erickson (2015-06-14). "UFC 188 bonuses: Fabricio Werdum cashes $50,000 extra check. Who joined him?". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-06-14. 
  33. ^ "Werdum Stuns Cain Velasquez At UFC 188". BallerStatus.com. June 14, 2015. 
  34. ^ Staff (December 9, 2015). "Fabricio Werdum vs. Cain Velasquez title rematch confirmed for UFC 196". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 
  35. ^ Mike Dyce (2016-01-24). "Cain Velasquez out, Stipe Miocic to fill in at UFC 196". fansided.com. Retrieved 2016-01-24. 
  36. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2016-01-25). "Fabricio Werdum pulls out of UFC 196 with injury". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  37. ^ Lucas Rezende (2016-02-03). "UFC Fight Night 87 changed to UFC 198, could feature Werdum vs. Miocic". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2016-02-03. 
  38. ^ Super User. "Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai Kickboxing, MMA school - Werdum Combat Team". Retrieved 12 July 2015. 
  39. ^ Abdullah Khuzin (2015-04-10). "Fabricio Werdum signed a contract with fight club "Akhmat"". grozny.tv. 
  40. ^ "MMAjunkie’s ‘Submission of the Month’ for June: Here a choke, there a choke - MMAjunkie". MMAjunkie. Retrieved 12 July 2015. 
  41. ^ My wife Karine is already with 8 months. Her birth is expected to be in the next two weeks. I'm very anxious because it's my first daughter. We already arranged all her room, I´m kind of silly with all this thing.
  42. ^ Fabricio Werdum talks Antonio Silva's win over Fedor, Overeem y habla en espanol!. YouTube. 13 February 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2015. 
  43. ^ Cro Cop talks about the time he choked out Fabricio Werdum. YouTube. 14 April 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Cain Velasquez
18th UFC Heavyweight Champion
June 13, 2015 – present