Strikeforce heavyweight fighter Fabricio Werdum has been given the opportunity to fight Alistair Overeem for the title as part of the August 15 event. Werdum faced Overeem back in May of 2006 at Pride’s “Total Elimination Absolute” event, submitting him via a kimura in the second round. They’ll be meeting for a second time and it seems like the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert plans to take the fight to the ground once again.
Werdum mentions the fact that he has fought for a title once before in Morocco, but the promotion is nowhere near as big as the one Strikeforce has offered him. Therefore, he’ll be training twice as hard. His Chuteboxe teammate Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos will be fighting Gina “Conviction” Carano as part of the main event, so he’ll be rooting for her that same night.
Snip from Fabricio Werdum as he prepares to face Overeem for the Strikeforce heavyweight title (props to tatame.com):
“I was very happy! My manager, Richard, called me the other day and confirmed… Indeed, it will be the first time I dispute a belt. In 2003 I disputed a belt at Morocco (World Absolute Fight Federation), but it wasn’t a known event, was a small event… I was so happy when my manager called about the fight, and a title fight changes everything, even to get sponsorship and other things. Everything is good, but it has to train three times, because it’s five rounds of five. I want to take that belt to have other proposals for other events. For now, I’m focused on Strikeforce, but at the same time I’m open to other proposals, because I have no exclusivity with Strikeforce…I’ll bring to my area, but is that thing: the fight starts standing. I’ll train standing as on the ground, but I’ll give more emphasis to the ground. I like to train and fight standing, and it hasn’t that thing of taking the fight directly to the ground. It’s difficult to take Overeem to the ground. In the other time that we fought, I couldn’t give him any takedown, and he took me down five times, so I was forced to fight standing with him. The strategy is this, take to the ground as soon as possible and submit…Three years have passed and much has changed. As I changed, he changed too. I know he’s heavier and stronger, but there is one thing: the stronger and heavier, the guy can get tired fast. In our other fight, he gave me a heat in the first round and began to get tired in the second. I can use this strategy too, just wait for him to get tired, but if I have how to finalize before, I will…It will be good, because the Chute Boxe went through a phase of everybody getting out and relieve some of the team, but we’ll rise again. What I want most is to take this belt, which is the second most important, after the UFC, next to Affliction. I cheer a lot for Cris (Cyborg) and I’m sure she’ll take this belt (against Gina Carano). I’m representing the Chute Boxe, but I’m also representing the new team of Rafael Cordeiro.”