Fabricio Werdum was expected to fight again under the Professional Fighters League (PFL) banner at the end of the month, but that will no longer happen.
The former UFC heavyweight champion turned PFL standout has withdrawn from his fight against Brandon Sayles at PFL 6, which is scheduled to take place on June 25 at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, NJ. The news was reported by Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting on Wednesday afternoon.
According to the report, Werdum is unable to compete so soon after his technical knockout loss to Renan Ferreira in his promotional debut at PFL 3 last month. Whether he returns and completes the 2021 PFL season has yet to be determined.
Werdum has not addressed his reported withdrawal from PFL 6 at the time of this writing.
Werdum was initially finished by Ferreira with strikes on the ground, but the end sequence was controversial. He had Ferreira locked up in a triangle choke and it looked as though his opponent tapped twice to the submission. However, the referee missed the tap, and Ferreira was able to escape the submission and start landing the brutal ground and pound that saw the fight stopped just seconds later.
Werdum and his team immediately filed to appeal the result and it was reviewed by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board (NJSACB) a few days later. The board decided to overturn the loss to a No Contest and both Werdum and Ferreira were awarded one point in the heavyweight tournament.
With Werdum now out of his upcoming fight, Sayles is left without an opponent. He last competed at PFL 3, where he submitted highly touted heavyweight prospect and younger brother of UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, Mohammed Usman with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their fight.
PFL 6 will be headlined by a women’s lightweight fight between Kayla Harrison and Cindy Dandois in what will be the regular season finale.