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Werdum disappointed Fedor didn’t choose the UFC, wanted to retire with ‘peace of mind’

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UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum expressed disappointment when he heard that Fedor Emelianenko would not sign with the UFC.

Esther Lin

When Fedor Emelianenko announced his return to professional MMA several months ago, UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum was one of the first to offer the legendary Russian a rematch. Unfortunately for the Brazilian champion, Fedor opted to sign a $2.5 million guarantee to fight for former Pride FC boss Sakakibara's new Japanese promotion on December 31st.

Less than two weeks removed from the somewhat anticlimactic announcement, Werdum expressed his disappointment to Russian media during his stay in Dagestan.

"I was very upset when Fedor finished his career," Werdum told TASS Sports.  "But now he's back and I'm happy for him. UFC would have been better for Fedor, but in Japan you can earn more. As for the new Japanese company, it is very strong. In the past I fought seven times in Japan and very pleased with the organization."

Although Werdum was the man who snapped Fedor's decade-long win streak back in Strikeforce, he was willing to challenge the Russian heavyweight to a rematch inside the UFC's Octagon.

"I wanted a rematch. So sorry that Emelianenko has not chosen the UFC. And if the fight did take place, I could have retire with peace of mind."