Fabricio Werdum Forced to Withdraw From PFL 6 Fight Against Brandon Sayles

Published 06/03/2021, 1:13 PM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: (L-R) Fabricio Werdum of Brazil works to secure an arm bar submission against Alexander Gustafsson of Sweden in their heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum won’t be fighting later this month. Professional Fighters League announced on Tuesday that Werdum was scheduled to make his second appearance under the promotion’s banner in a June 25 bout with Brandon Sayles. However, he has withdrawn from the fight due to some reason which is still undisclosed.

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Furthermore, it is unknown at this time if Werdum will remain part of the PFL heavyweight tournament. There has also not been a replacement opponent given to Sayles yet for his upcoming fight. Werdum is one of the most accomplished heavyweights in MMA history, and he was looking to add to his legacy with a win in the PFL heavyweight tournament.

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In his last fight with the PFL, Werdum was stopped with punches moments after Ferreira tapped to a triangle choke, a move the referee didn’t notice in real time. Following this controversial ending, an immediate rematch was in store. However, PFL decided to book Werdum with Sayles and make Ferreira fight against Ali Isaev. Isaev is the defending PFL heavyweight champion.

Werdum’s last fight with the UFC was an impressive first-round knockout victory against Alexander Gustafsson. The fight lasted all of two minutes, and Werdum came out on top in his swansong for the organization where he had fought since 2007.

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Fabricio Werdum and his controversial fight against Renan Ferreira

His first fight after leaving the UFC was a controversial one. At 43, it was a miracle that he was still competing at a higher level, but the good news stopped there as Renan Ferreira finished him with strikes in the first round. However, the referee missed Ferreira tapping to Werdum’s triangle choke.

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The cameras didn’t, and that caused a lot of ruckus in MMA media. The New Jersey Athletic Control Board reviewed the fight and overturned the result to a no-decision. It would’ve been Werdum’s 13th victory via submission, and he was going to try again on June 25.

Do you think MMA referees need more help in the octagon?

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Aniket Awasthi

262 articles

Aniket Awasthi is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. This STEM undergraduate combines an insatiable urge to write with his admiration for MMA and the UFC in general to enhance his journalism. He calls charismatic names like Chael Sonnen and 'The Count' Michael Bisping as his favorite fighters, but he is a great admirer of the rise of Israel Adesanya ever since he fought Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221.

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