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Report: Fabricio Werdum gone from UFC

By Zach Arnold | November 10, 2008

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MMA Weekly has a report stating that UFC management approached Fabricio Werdum (after his loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC 90) to re-negotiate his contract. The negotiations failed, so he is gone from the organization.

I do find it interesting that UFC has the contractual rights to not only be able to cut a fighter after they lose but to also ask a fighter to take a paycut or get released. In other sports (like professional football), there are buyouts and cuts but generally a negative impact towards a ‘salary cap.’ In the world of UFC, management has the best of all worlds — they have complete and total control.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 23 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

23 Responses to “Report: Fabricio Werdum gone from UFC”

  1. EJ says:

    This is what happens when you bitch about getting a title shot and end up getting knock out by an unknown fighter. The easiest way to find yourself out of the UFC is to talk smack about UFC management and want to get paid alot more than your worth. Hopefully Roger Huerta is learning this valuable lessong because he might be the next name fighter gone from the UFC.

  2. D.Capitated says:

    Awesome. A legitimate talent (albiet one prone to laziness) is gone and we’ve got the Brazilian Houston Alexander in his place.

  3. […] unsurprising: Werdum was never a huge draw, and that loss to Cigano was devastating. And, as Zach Arnold notes, when it comes to fighter contracts, UFC has total control. In this case, they’re using their […]

  4. Heh, Brazilian Houston Alexander. Not exactly correct skill wise, but hype wise you can’t disagree with that assessment

  5. dave2 says:

    D.Cap, it’s harsh to call Junior dos Santos a Brazilian Houston Alexander. Houston Alexander has no ground game and is as one dimensional as you can get. Junior dos Santos has good standup, he’s a BJJ black belt and he’s trained by Nogueira’s team.

    I think Junior will probably lose when he steps up in competition just like Gabriel Gonzaga did but he’ll stick around. Houston Alexander just sucks. Jardine, while a great fighter, is prone to getting caught/beat-down early by aggressive strikers (see Wanderlei Silva fight) and Sakara sucks. That’s why Houston beat those guys.

    As for Werdum, it’s pathetic that the UFC is letting a legitimate, proven heavyweight go. He had one off night after proving himself earlier in PRIDE and the UFC. Hopefully we’ll see him in Sengoku or DREAM.

  6. Kelvin says:

    He’ll more than likely go back to Japan…as his options here in America are pretty limited.

  7. D.Capitated says:

    Okay, if he’s not Brazilian Houston Alexander, let’s call him Brazilian Sokoudjou. He knocked out a guy 30lbs overweight who had no interest in fighting him with a wild hockey uppercut. Similar sort of record; even has his own Glover Texieria.

    Also, Gonzaga has beaten mid level comp in addition to his wins over upper echelon competitors. Santos hasn’t even done that consistently.

  8. 45 Huddle says:


    1. Fabricio Werdum comes to work 20 lbs overweight.

    2. We have no clue how much he was asked to take a paycut for.

    3. We have no clue what his reasoning for leaving are.

    Yet all the blame is being placed on the UFC?

    Let the facts come out first.

    With that said, no matter what the offer from the UFC was, if I showed such a lack of effort at my job, they wouldn’t give me a pay cut. They would have fired me.

  9. […] hence the problem with the UFC having a stranglehold on the MMA industry. Zach Arnold summed it up pretty well. I do find it interesting that UFC has the contractual rights to not only be able to cut a fighter […]

  10. […] Zack Arnold points out, the implications of this are real: I do find it interesting that UFC has the […]

  11. cyph says:

    Lets not forget that he had a new contract which:

    (1) Paid him more than his old 80k (safe assumption here).
    (2) Guaranteed title shot for beating a +500 underdog (piece of cake right?)

    He’s now getting paid contender money for not being a contender for at least 2-3 fights (length of contract?). The UFC asked him to renegotiate which he demurred. They parted ways. Blame the UFC or blame Werdum?

  12. jdavis says:

    Do we actually know what they were renegotiating? I wonder if he had a title shot in his contract and the UFC wanted to take it out after his horrible loss to a unknown fighter? I also have to wonder if it had anything to do with him complaining about Brock Lesnar getting the fight with Randy instead of him?

    I can understand why the UFC would want to renegotiate after that fight but it just doesn’t seem right that they can do that after one fight on a contract. I also have to wonder at what happened on Werdum’s side of this, he might of just wanted out for all we know. It will be interesting to see if anything else comes out of this.

  13. Joseph says:

    However way you break it down, the UFC lost another top 10 HW with wins over Vera and Gonzaga.

    UFC HW is now composed of a soon te be retired Couture, aging Nog, and a very average Mir. Lesnar, Kongo, Gonzaga and Dos Santos follow. Not very good if you ask me.

  14. Michaelthebox says:

    Joseph: You’re being unnecessarily down on the division. Gonzaga, Kongo, Carwin, Velasquez, Dos Santos, and Lesnar provide the basis for a talented and excited division in the years to come, and they’re actively adding talent. There are four HWs debuting over the next two months.

  15. 45 Huddle says:

    I agree with Michaelthebox.

    With that said, it is still their worst division. And personally for me, the Heavyweight Division can be the most boring division in the sport as well.

  16. D.Capitated says:

    Carwin, Velasquez, Dos Santos, and Lesnar are all potentially great heavyweights, but hell if we’re gonna know if they only fight each other and the Justin McCullys of the world.

  17. Grape Knee High says:

    Zach, to be clear most likely the UFC’s only contractual “right” is one of termination after a loss. They just use this to their advantage to renegotiate terms.

    Sucks that Werdum was released but the major is problem is that Werdum simply didn’t sell PPVs. That’s why Houston Alexander and the other skill-less brawlers are still around and Werdum is not. I blame the redneck fans.

  18. 45 Huddle says:

    Yeah, but the rednecks don’t like ground fighting, but the UFC still keeps many “boring” grapplers. Makes me wonder what is up.

    Notice how MMA Weekly is really the only major MMA Website to have reported this so far. Dave Meltzer had a tiny blurb on his website. Besides that, journalists are staying silent. Makes me wonder if MMA Weekly should have waited until they got all the facts before going public with it.

  19. b.d.w. says:

    Werdum is saying that he does’nt know anything about it(TATME.COM) and rumors are swirling that MMAWEKLY only went by him not being on the ufc’s hp bio section as to why he was fired, when it has several fighters STILL listed, such as tito, nakamura, lutter, schoenuer, and evan tanner, that are no longer with them. WEIRD.

  20. Jeremy says:

    Tatame has Werdum saying he knows nothing about this:

    “I’m surprised with this news. My sister is my manager and shes the one that deal with the UFC and she always contact me first before every decision is made and from what I know UFC didn’t contacted her. I still have 4 more fights left on my contract until 2010. From what they told me I should fight in february, july, november and april of 2010. In fact, I’m moving to the USA because I’ll prepare for those fights in the UFC with Rafael Cordeiro.” said Werdum that is finishing all the details to move to USA in december…”

  21. Ivan Trembow says:

    Wow. “You lost a fight, now take a pay cut or we’re releasing you.” Tough break for Fabricio Werdum. He had just signed a new contract after beating Brandon Vera and before losing to Junior dos Santos, and it was thrown out the window when he lost.

    Also, how exactly do we know that he didn’t take the fight seriously? He came in heavier than he usually is, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he wasn’t taking the fight seriously. It could have just have easily been that a training injury caused him to be able to train less, and that caused him to put on some weight. That happens all the time to fighters, and in the weight classes that require cutting, it can make for some very hard weight cutting (ie, Thiago Alves with his injured ankle before the Matt Hughes fight). In heavyweight fights, you don’t have to cut weight at all unless you’re Brock Lesnar, but a training injury could still cause you to come in heavier than usual. Again, I’m not saying that he DID have a training injury, I’m just saying that it has to be considered just as likely or more likely than simply not taking the fight seriously.

  22. Ross says:

    I checked Werdum’s last two fights and each time he weighed in at just under 250. He was almost 10 pounds heavier here but it’s not even close to the 25 pounds that people have been talking about. It’d be odd if that was a reason to let him go.

    The trend of the UFC letting top heavyweights go has probably been because they cost an arm and a leg if we take the disclosed salaries at face value. Werdum made $80,000 in the loss against Arlovski, his salary for his four UFC fights has most likely been over $480K. Of course, Cro Cop made over a million for his three fights, Sylvia, Arlovski and Vera all made/make $100K to lose a fight and Gonzaga makes at least $50K just for showing up. Even Eddie Sanchez nearly made $50K at UFC 79 last year. Affliction and EliteXC have been even worse in paying their heavyweights big dollars. For a division where, outside of Couture and Lesnar, nobody has drawn in the US that’s a lot of money to toss around.

    In comparison, Houston Alexander made less than $15,000 against Eric Schafer.


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