Fabricio Werdum’s two year USADA suspension couldn’t have ended at a much worse time for the former UFC champion.
Still officially scheduled to take on fellow veteran grappler Oleksey Oleynik at UFC 250, the 42-year-old is aware that the coronavirus pandemic will likely spoil his return. It’s a delay that could be a major obstacle in this latter part of the Brazilian’s career, given that there is no clear current timetable as to when it will be safe to hold sporting events like MMA.
In an interview with Ag Fight, Werdum told the outlet that he would still fight in May, no matter what the conditions might be: closed doors, reduced staff or a packed arena, ‘Vai Cavalho’ just doesn’t want to waste any more time.
“I’m in a state of uncertainty,” Werdum revealed. “I don’t know if the situation is getting any worse, but I think it is—with more people becoming infected. I’ve been training, though. I live in LA, but now I’m in Big Bear, which is a mountainous area nearby. I brought my family along and my master Rafael Cordeiro helps me via Skype. He gives the instructions and my brother holds the pads for me. I’ve been running up the mountains, too, going only upwards. I’m finding a way to adapt. One day I trained inside a bedroom, the other day I trained inside a garage. It will never be the same, jiu-jitsu especially, because we lack a mat. It’s a pickle for all of us. I hope my opponent is going through the same adversities.”
“I want to fight. I’ve been away for two years because of a suspension and I want to return,” Fabricio continued. “I’d really like to fight in Sao Paulo, I have lots of friends and fans over there. It’s cool if they switch places, though, I just want to fight. If it’s behind closed doors, like they did in Brasilia, that’s no problem. Even if they have to do it behind closed doors and the least amount of people possible. I want to fight as soon as possible. I don’t have as much time as I did when I was 25. Now I’m 42, time means a lot. We feel that a lot more. I hope I can have one fight after the other. I don’t want to get hurt before I have to fight again”.
Back in May 2018, Fabricio Werdum tested positive for banned substance Trenbolone, which resulted in his two-year suspension from competition. Eventually that was later reduced by 10 months for ‘substance assistance’, in a official statemente by the agency. However it’s already been more than two years since Werdum last fought inside the Octagon.
In that last outing, Werdum (23-8-1) suffered a knockout loss to Alexander Volkov, in March 2018. The loss snapped a two-fight winning streak for the former champ, including victories over Walt Harris and Marcin Tybura.
UFC 250 is set to take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on May 9. The card is expected to be headlined by a bantamweight title fight between champion Henry Cejudo, and former featherweight title holder Jose Aldo. However, as we’ve seen multiple times lately, all that may be subject to drastic changes in the near future.