Fedor Emelianenko’s next fight may be up in the air, but M-1 Global has made it clear what they want. In a press release issued today, M-1 states they intend to pursue an immediate rematch with Fabricio Werdum for sometime in October.
M-1 Global will be speaking with Strikeforce with the intention of establishing a rematch with Werdum in October of this year; “Fedor is a strong fighter and no one truly expected Fedor to lose tonight but fights are fights and we must regroup and make our plan for a new future,” says M-1 Global’s co-founder, Vadim Finklestein. “I think a rematch with Werdum will bring a different outcome than what we witnessed this evening and would be in the best interests of the promotions and for the sport. This is an opportunity for us to learn and evolve.”
You could argue Strikeforce booking the immediate rematch is a bit of a slight to their heavyweight champion, but let’s be honest, Fedor-Werdum II is a bigger fight than Overeem-Werdum II. It’s going to be hard for Strikeforce to turn that down. They pay a lot of money for Fedor, so they might as well get the biggest fight out of him they possibly can, and right now, that’s a rematch with Fabricio Werdum.
Update: Sportsnet.ca’s Joe Ferraro offers a potentially juicy twist to the story.
To my knowledge, Werdum fought the last fight on his contract and I have had a few sources tell me that the UFC will be courting him soon, in hopes to draw him back to the octagon while teaming up with the Brazilian to bait Fedor to the big show, in hopes of somehow having the rematch on a UFC pay per view. While I still believe Fedor will likely never fight in the octagon, “never say never” is a common adage in MMA. But alas, I’ll believe it when I see it.
If Werdum is in fact a free agent, that’s a pretty slick plan on the UFC’s part.
Update 2: From Josh Gross:
Fabricio Werdum signed a three-fight extension with Strikeforce prior to the Fedor fight, so he’s not going anywhere for a while.