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Werdum: Beating Fedor Is More Important Than Five Belts

I’ve been studying a lot his game, I’ve been watching his fights. In the past people didn’t watch their opponent previous fights, but it’s a thing everyone has been doing, so it’s very important that I do it, because I’m sure he has been watching my fights. It’s difficult for an athlete to change completely his game plan in a year, he basically does the same things, so we already know Fedor has a heavy hand, is strong and fast… I’ll do what I do best and try to make my Jiu-Jitsu work, but I also have to worry about the standing game because the fight begins with the two of us standing, so I have to prepare myself for everything because a good punch on the heavyweight division can determine the winner so I have to worry about this, but so does he. I can’t say much about him, he’s the champion for about eight years, so beating a guy from his level is a huge thing. I don’t know if will be a belt dispute and, of course I’d like to become the champion and have the belt, but I’m more concerned about beating Fedor, because it’s more important to me than bringing five belts home.

—Fabricio Werdum, in an interview with Tatame, talking about his strategy for Fedor Emelianenko

Fabricio Werdum may think he has the answer to beating Fedor Emelianenko, but the bookmakers sure don’t. Sportsbooks have Fedor anywhere from a 10-1 to a 6.5-1 favorite over Werdum. Cris Cyborg is sitting at an astounding 25-1 favorite over relatively unknown challenger Jan Finney. On paper at least, the top of the June 26 Strikeforce “Fedor vs. Werdum” card doesn’t look too competitive.

Image via Esther Lin for Showtime

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Broadcast: Pay-per-view, Fox Sports 1, UFC Fight Pass

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