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Fabricio Werdum To Affliction? Overeem-Cro Cop Set For NYE? (Update – Overeem-CC Not Signed)

Fabrico WerdumFabricio Werdum may be out of work now, but he might not be for much longer. According to an interview on Brazilian website,, Werdum says he’s currently in negotiations with Affliction, DREAM, and Sengoku, but it sounds like he’s leaning more towards Affliction where he can “fight the best in the world.” Werdum also mentioned that the UFC wanted to cut his pay in half, thus leading to his departure.

Here’s the article posted and translated in its entirety courtesy of Free Fight Videos.

Its has been a troubling month for Fabricio Werdum. Rumours of his departure from the UFC began soon after his loss to Junior Dos Santos at UFC 90. While he first denied the speculation, he now can confirm his exit from the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

“When I first heard the rumours, I didn’t know anything. I had four more fights left with them on my contract, which ran to 2010. But they demanded to renegotiate my exiting contract by cutting my pay in half” revealed the heavyweight. Adding also that his departure had nothing to do with the video game licensing dispute. “No that wasn’t an issue but its not something that benefit’s the fighters”

“It’s a pity I would have liked to continue with the UFC but now we forge ahead.” said Fabricio who still has plans to move to the US.

“I still plan to go to the United States with my family. I’m open to negotiations with Affliction, Sengoku and Dream …”, said Werdum. “I’m a free agent now”

“One of the advantages of leaving the UFC is the freedom of contract, which allows fighters to work with more than one event without any problems.

“That’s very beneficial. There are several possibilities now including fighting in multiple organizations. Affliction, Sengoku and Dream are big events, but I think the possibility of fighting for Affliction in particular will give me the best chance to fight the best in the world, Fedor, in addition to (Andrei) Arlovski, Josh Barnett and several other big names …That would be a great opportunity for me” concluded Werdum.

It will certainly be interesting to see where Werdum ends up. MDS thinks Werdum would make a great opponent for Josh Barnett at Affliction “Day of Reckoning.” I can’t say I disagree, although I would rather see Barnett fight Aleksander Emelianenko. Of course, who knows if that’s even possible. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see how it all plays out.

Since we’re discussing former PRIDE stars, I might as well mention that Five Oz. is confirming the Overeem-Cro Cop rematch for NYE. Fightlinker isn’t so sure though based of these statements Cro Cop made in this translated interview.

2. He says he shouldn’t have fought so early after the surgery but his desire to fight was to big. He says he hesitated in the Overeem fight because he was afraid to lose and also make a wrong move and injure his knee. But also he says sometimes he just doesn’t know why he fights so badly (like in the UFC).

3. He says the new surgery is not an excuse but he says the japanese people want to see him fight and he owes them. He says after the surgery he should be ready to fight in April.

Is he saying he won’t be fighting till April? I don’t know, it’s certainly possible something could have gotten lost in translation as Fightlinker pointed out, but I will say that he has mentioned in the past that he plans on having surgery immediately following his fight on NYE, so for now, I’m choosing believe that the rematch is on. Why not? One more fight to look forward to.

[UPDATE 11/24/08 10:20AM ET] – Just a quick update on the Cro Cop fight. Overeem is telling Sherdog that Cro Cop has not signed yet.

“I’m afraid Mirko is trying to run from me again. FEG wants to make it happen, I would like nothing more than get my hands on him again and I know that the fans would like to see a definite ending as well, so the only obstacle here is Cro Cop. He’s the one who hasn’t signed the contract yet and he’s the one who is trying to avoid fighting me again because he knows that he will get his ass kicked again.”

That doesn’t sound too promising. Maybe Overeem’s mouth will fire Cro Cop up enough to sign for the fight.

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