A ProSource Exclusive Interview
New UFC Heavyweight ChampionFabricio Werdum Talks TrainingAnd His Long Road to Success
Fabricio Werdum is a man who won’t take “no” for an answer.
It seems every time Fabricio enters the Octagon, the doubters are out in force, saying “not this time.” The naysayers were present when Fabricio fought previously undefeated Fedor Emelianenko (34-4) and highly-touted Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (13-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC). And, of course, they were on hand to identify two-time UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez as the clear favorite when the two met in Mexico City with the undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion belt at stake.
Does Fabricio take these doubts to heart? You better believe it. (As we’ll see, Fabricio believes he’s been regarded as the underdog in virtually every UFC bout he’s fought.)
In each case, the outcome was the same. What did all of those UFC favorites learn? Simply this: You under-estimate Fabricio Verdum at your own risk.
In Mexico City, Fabricio started slow, getting cut early, but his superior conditioning and endurance wore Velasquez down. As the fight progressed, the crowd grew more and more excited as they recognized the upset unfolding before their eyes. At 2:13 of the third round, Fabricio was able to submit Velasquez via guillotine choke, and the crowd went absolutely nuts. As Fabricio tightened his grip, a beatific smile spread across his face.Fabricio Werdum had reached the end of a long, long road. He is the champ now. His underdog days are over.
Now, of course, the rumors fly. Will Fabricio fight Stipe Miocic, who went out of his way recently to say that Fabricio still has plenty to prove? Will he fight Andrei Arlovski to find out (as Fabricio suggested in June) “who’s the daddy?” And what about Jon “Bones” Jones, whose heavyweight aspirations were sidetracked earlier this year by personal problems?
One thing is for sure. In Fabricio’s next fight, his first as undisputed champion in the division and “baddest man alive,” he’ll have earned the respect he’s sought throughout his career, and he’ll go into that bout as a favorite.
Fabricio is currently vacationing with his family, talking to his fight team, and preparing to make that next move. He also took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to ProSource about training, supplements, and his future.ProSource: Going into the your championship match against Cain Velasquez, you were clearly regarded as the underdog. How much did that perception motivate you throughout the fight? To what extent do you think Velasquez may have under-estimated you, given the pre-fight hype?Fabricio Werdum: I am used to it. Almost every fight I’ve had in the UFC, I was the underdog, so it just motivates me more to show to everyone that I am the best heavyweight in the world. I don't think Velasquez under-estimated me. He did train a lot for this fight. He is an amazing fighter and a great guy. ProSource: You’re conditioning was clearly superb. You seemed to overpower Velasquez early and then showed greater strength and endurance as the fight progressed. Velasquez seemed bothered by the high altitude in Mexico City more than you were. Did you make any changes to your training regimen to prepare for this fight? Can you describe your training regimen in general terms?Fabricio Werdum: I added Olympic lifting to my camp training this time and for sure that helped me a lot. It allowed me to develop total body functional strength and increased power and muscle flexibility, so I’m able to maintain power in my punches and kicks even when off-balance or when I’m on attack or defense. Aside from that, I went to Mexico City 45 days before the fight. I trained with Tio “Ernesto” Marquez, who also trains Juan Manuel Marquez. His training program at high altitude helped me a lot to get into top condition to fight in Mexico City. ProSource: We have to ask. You appeared to be laughing at one key point in the match. What was that? Was it a psychological ploy? Was it just sheer joy at being so close to your ultimate goal? Also, while we’re on the subject, what’s it like to be the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion?Fabricio Werdum: I was happy when I realized the fight was over! It is an amazing feeling when you work hard to achieve something and make the dream come true. It feels so good to be the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Through my career and the ups and downs I’ve had, I never abandoned my goal of becoming World Champ. Now that I’ve achieved my goal, I will hold this title for a long time.ProSource: Our readers take supplementation and diet very seriously. Clearly, you’ve got to maintain your weight and eat clean. What’s your daily diet like? Also, what supplements are most important to you? What supplements do you use on a daily basis?Fabricio Werdum: My body is my tool to work, so I need keep the machine working! I eat many of the same foods I have for years – I always try to eat clean. So I eat lots of protein from meat, chicken or fish, carbs from rice, grains and fruit, plus healthy fats from nuts. I especially love steak, but I also love sushi. My favorite meals include BBQ beef or sushi.
I have found that extra protein is important, which is where supplements are very helpful. I would like to thank my sponsor MHP for supplying me with the best supplements. Since I started working with MHP in 2011, I’ve won six straight fights and went from a loss in Strike Force to winning the UFC Heavyweight Title! Probolic-SR is my #1 protein choice to help build muscle and recover fully. Because I like lots of meat, I also take IsoPrime 100% BEEF, plus I take Dark Matter after every workout to help me recover and increase my performance. I use FIT Trainer before my training and MYO-X every morning. I also take T-BOMB 3xtreme daily to keep my testosterone levels high so I can train harder and fight better. And nothing is a better high protein snack than Power Pak Pudding – chocolate is my favorite!ProSource: Everyone in the heavyweight division is gunning for you now. Stipe Miocic and and Andrei Arlovski are lobbying for a shot at the title. Alistair Overeem, in particular, feels he has beaten you before and can do it again. Why is he wrong? How have you evolved as a fighter in the last few years? What aspects of your performance can still be improved? And how are you working to address that? Fabricio Werdum: Everyone wants the spotlight, but not everyone is willing to pay the price to be at the top. So anyone who has a mouth can say anything. I will recover and enjoy my victory now. We always have something to improve. Right now I will need to sit down with my team to analyze where I need to work to improve my game and win my next fight. ProSource: Here at ProSource, we’ve followed your career avidly since the beginning. Many of our ProSource customers are huge fans of yours, as well. We know you appreciate ProSource’s commitment to physique and performance. What comes to mind when you think of ProSource?Fabricio Werdum: That’s simple – a quality online retailer and a perfect source for all the top MHP products!ProSource: One last question. It’s been a long road to the top. What advice do you have for the young and aspiring fighters who would like to follow in your footsteps and wear a UFC Championship Belt? Fabricio Werdum: I always believe in myself and I've always worked hard to achieve my goals. Everyone wants to be the champion, but it takes a lot of desire, focus and planning – and it’s hard work. So if you want to go somewhere, work for it. But you must work hard and pay the price every day to make it a goal and not a dream.ProSource: Thanks, Fabricio, for sharing with our readers. Good luck against your next opponent!
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