It doesn’t really matter to Fabricio Werdum who stands across from him on November 15 at UFC 180. Werdum just wants his shot at gold.
It was announced on Tuesday night that Werdum will meet Mark Hunt for the interim title and not Cain Velasquez after the heavyweight champion went down with a knee injury. Werdum told UFC.com that, while he is disappointed Velasquez is out, he’s focused on achieving his goal.
“The important thing for me is that I’m ready to fight,” Werdum said. “The object was never Cain Velasquez; it’s always been the belt. Since I got back to the UFC, it’s been about getting the belt and it doesn’t matter from who. I just want the belt and I’m ready to fight anybody. Of course, I’m a little bit sad for Cain and about not fighting him right now, but I’m ready to fight for the belt.”
Werdum (18-5-1) is a perfect 4-0 since returning to the Octagon in 2012 after a loss to Alistair Overeem. He’s finished Mike Russow and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, while scoring decisions over Travis Browne and Roy Nelson. During his first stint with the promotion, Werdum lost to Junior dos Santos and left, reeling off three straight wins in Strikeforce over Mike Kyle, Antonio Silva and Fedor Emelianenko.
While the change in opponent will cause some movement within his plans, Werdum believes he is fully-prepared for battle.
“For me, there is no pressure,” he said. “The pressure is when you’re not trained and not ready to fight. There have been times when I’ve fought and I wasn’t well-prepared and that’s when I was most scared. But now since I’m in such good shape and so well-trained, I have no pressure on me at all. I’ve had a great time going through Mexico and doing the publicity, and I’m enjoying every moment of it. We’ve already been in Mexico for two months, so we’re loving it.”