Fabricio Werdum is unsure if he will fight again: ‘My wife wants me to stop’

The Underground
fabricio werdum
Credit: PFL

After 19 years as an active competitor in MMA, former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum seems to be at a career crossroads.

Werdum, 44, is one of the greatest heavyweights to ever compete in the sport. He is a veteran of beloved organizations like PRIDE FC and Strikeforce. He has held UFC gold, and he is the only man to have submitted MMA legends Cain Velasquez and Fedor Emelianenko.

However, the last three years of his career have not been memorable. Werdum (24-9-1) has one victory in four fights. He was a victim of UFC cost-cutting measures and was released from the promotion in 2020 following a submission win over Alexander Gustafsson. And his run in the PFL was disastrous. His league debut included some questionable judging and a technical knockout loss — that was eventually overturned. Then he was removed from his return fight after medical tests found swelling on his brain.

With little left to prove in the industry, and several businesses outside the sport providing long-term financial security, “Vai Cavalo” is now debating if a return is a competitive juice that’s worth the squeeze.

Fabricio Werdum is unsure if fighting again is really worth at 44-years-old

“I need to make a decision still. I need to speak to my wife first because she wants me to stop [fighting]. I’m 44 years old, so she wants me to stop and we’re doing well in Brazil and running a lot of things,” Werdum told MMAJunkie. … So I have the meat business, I also have a clothing brand — Werdum Sports — I have the YouTube channel, and I’m an ambassador for PFL here in Brazil. So I have a lot of things going on. It needs to be worth it for me to stop everything and go fight again because I would need to go back to the US because my team is in Los Angeles in Kings MMA.”

Having reached the pinnacle of the sport, it doesn’t seem like going through several fights over six months, in the pursuit of a PFL championship and a million-dollar check is enough to make the decision an easy one. Especially, when a significant figure like his wife would rather he quit, and fighting means leaving his family for long periods of time at a point in his life where that has become very detrimental.

Although he admits fighting again is a solid possibility, Werdum seems to be leaving it up to the league to offer a new contract that could entice him to forego time with his family and take part in a US-based training camp. PFL contracts are for individual seasons, with some deals giving the league options to automatically renew an athlete for the following year.

“I can train here and start the training camp, but I would need to leave my family and go back to the US to do the actual camp. I don’t want to think about the money only, I need to have all my focus on winning. So I don’t know if it’ll be worth it now that I’m 44-years-old,” said Werdum. “That needs to be decided. I need to speak to PFL and see if we come to an agreement, so I can fight again.”

What is your favorite moment from the long and memorable career of Fabricio Werdum?

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