Fabricio Werdum is so eager to fight at UFC 207 on Friday that he is willing to take on anyone.
Werdum was supposed to face Cain Velasquez, but the latter was pulled from the card after the Nevada State Athletic Commission refused to let him fight because of a back injury.
With Velasquez out, Werdum is hoping the UFC can find a replacement in time for the event in Las Vegas.
“We’re waiting. I’m on standby. If the UFC calls me, I’ll fight. I’m ready to fight,” he told MMA Fighting. “If the UFC says they have an opponent, I’ll fight. I’ll fight anyone, like I always did. I always fought the best. My record shows that. If I were afraid of anyone, I wouldn’t be in this sport.”
Was just cleared by Dr 30 mins ago and then he conferenced the Nevada Athletic Commision and spoke to them and recleared me with them.
— Cain Velasquez (@cainmma) December 24, 2016
Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos recently tweeted that Werdum refused to face him at UFC 207, but the 39-year-old insisted it’s not true.
“What ‘Cigano’ said was a bit weird,” Werdum said. “‘Cigano’ has been chasing me for a long time. You usually go after the belt, not a fighter. I think that’s weird. I wasn’t offered this (fight). He’s saying I turned it down. I’d fight him just to end this story of him chasing me.
“Some people think he’s jealous because I became champion beating his ‘dad’ Cain Velasquez, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think he didn’t come out of the closet yet. I don’t have anything against homosexuals, but ‘Cigano’ needs to get out of the closet. He must have something because he won’t forget me. I already told him I’m married. Nothing against gays, but everyone does their own thing.”
Dos Santos is scheduled to face Stefan Struve on February 19, but Werdum is open to fighting the 32-year-old on Friday.
“He said something yesterday, he said I’m not a good fighter. I’ll show him inside the Octagon,” Werdum said. “Put us both in there now, no problem. He thinks I’m that same Werdum from 2007. Look at both of us and see who evolved more. My game changed completely.
“I want to fight Friday. It’s hard because of the strategy, to prepare for someone on days’ notice. I’ve been thinking about Cain Velasquez for three or four months, training for him, but I’ll fight anyone. Just give me a fight.”
Earlier, Werdum said that he wasn’t interested in fighting Velasquez anymore after the 34-year-old withdrew from the fight, but that has now changed after Velasquez called him to explain the situation.
“That was weird, Cain saying ‘oh, I have an injury and will undergo surgery’ before the fight. I didn’t understand that. It was weird,” Werdum said. “But it happens. I don’t blame him. Sometimes you have an injury but can still fight. But it was nice from him to call me last night saying he’s sorry, that he thought he could fight but the commission didn’t allow him. He called me apologizing for the situation. I can’t criticize him now. It happens.”