Last Saturday night at UFC 188, Fabricio Werdum became the first man to submit Cain Velasquez. To rub salt in the wound, the Brazilian did it in front of thousands of native Mexico supporters at the Arena Ciudad de México in Mexico City. The submission wizard was also the first fighter to end Fedor Emelianenko's 10-year reign of terror: Werdum tangled the Russian up with triangle armbar in 2010 in Strikeforce.
The newly minted heavyweight champion spoke to Ariel Helwani in a post-fight interview and gracefully offered Velasquez a rematch in Las Vegas. Fans have ping-ponged back and forth with reasons to justify Werdum's upset win, but Kings MMA head coach Rafael Cordeiro believes there are no excuses: Werdum beats Cain 10 out of 10 times:
"Werdum fights Cain Velasquez 10 times, he wins 10 times," Cordeiro said to MMAFighting. "I think people should stop finding explanations for results. If you lost, you lost, go back to the gym and train. It's a sport. Got a bad result? Train harder. The altitude was the same for everyone.
"The fight was announced and everybody knew they would have to deal with altitude, so go there one month earlier. But even if you go there one month before, that's now a guarantee that you're going to win. You have to be prepared to fight. We always believed in Werdum, and today he proved he's the best fighter on the planet."
Fabricio Werdum had previously fought in the high altitude Mexican capital at UFC 180 where he knocked out Mark Hunt with a flying knee in the main event. Despite Velasquez's proud Mexican heritage, the former champ only dedicated two weeks' training in Mexico City. Cordeiro speaks of Werdum's optimum preparation:
"We trained hard for that. Our camp started two years ago, when they first booked the fight," Cordeiro said. "We went to Mexico early to work on his cardio, but the technical training was basically done when we got there. We just had to adapt to the altitude and work on his cardio."
While Werdum is willing to rematch Velasquez on American soil, it's unlikely we'll see an instant rematch between the two due to Fabricio's dominance in the bout. Velasquez had to conquer Antonio 'Bigfoot' Silva before being granted with another shot at heavyweight gold against Junior dos Santos, and it's expected we'll see a similar formula following his loss to Werdum.