After initially denying published reports that he had been released from his contract with the UFC, heavyweight Fabricio Werdum acknowledged in a recent interview with the Brazilian MMA website that he is indeed a free agent.

“When I first heard the rumors, I didn’t know anything,” Werdum is quoted as telling Tatame. “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.”

Werdum’s lifetime record in the UFC fell to 2-2 following October’s first round knockout loss against newcomer Junior dos Santos at UFC 90 in Rosemont, Illinois. Word of Werdum’s release surfaced soon after.

A former PRIDE veteran, the jiu-jitsu black belt emerged as a top ten-caliber heavyweight by having recorded notable wins the past few years over the likes of Gabriel Gonzaga, Roman Zentsov, Alistair Overeem, and Brandon Vera.

Now that he is an unrestricted free agent, Werdum has expressed an interest in fighting for several promotions, with a possible preference for Affliction.

“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 (Emelianenko), in addition to (Andrei) Arlovski, Josh Barnett and several other big names. That would be a great opportunity for me,” Werdum is quoted.