BREAKING: Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum Set for PFL Debut on May 6 Against Renan Ferreira

Published 03/09/2021, 10:39 PM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: Fabricio Werdum of Brazil celebrates after his submission victory over 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 champion, Fabricio Werdum, is on deck to make his debut for the PFL organization on May 6, 2021. The Brazilian fighter will take on Renan Ferreira as the headliner for the card during the Week 3 festivities. PFL provides fighters with an opportunity to win $1 million as part of their tournament, and Werdum is clearly all-in.

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The card takes place at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, NJ, and features a marquee co-main event feature. Kayla Harrison will make her return against two-time Olympic gold medalist, Mariana Morais at PFL 3. The featured bout will draw in many eyeballs, especially for ‘Vai Cavalo’ who looks to charter a new course in his career.

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Former UFC icon Fabricio Werdum: An overview

‘Vai Cavalo’ last fought back in July 2020, where he came out on top against newly minted heavyweight, Alexander Gustafsson. The former Brazilian champion made quick work of the Swede and submitted him via armbar in round one. Chiefly, the victory snapped a two-fight skid and seemingly gave him a new lease on life in the UFC.

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)

His UFC run by that point was dodgy at best, going 3-3 in his last 6 outings extending to July 2017. However, it’s important to note that his losses came only to the upper echelon of the heavyweight division. Moreover, UFC fans were excited to see Werdum’s career path after being able to dismantle a veteran title challenger like Gustafsson with ease.

‘Val Cavalo’: Chartering new paths

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Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, and the news of his departure from the organization came not long after his emphatic victory. However, given the recent fates of certain heavyweight counterparts like Alistair Overeem and Junior Dos Santos, perhaps he made the right call. The UFC has been on record saying that they will be looking to tighten up the roster.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 24: (L-R) Opponents Fabricio Werdum of Brazil and Alexander Gustafsson of Sweden face off during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 24, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Werdum’s legendary resume certainly commanded a hefty pay-check and his exit from the promotion could have come at any time. However, it came on his own terms and he’ll now begin his journey towards the PFL’s famed $1 million. ‘Vai Cavalo’ will be optimistic about his chances against a 6-2 fighter like Ferreira, especially given his wealth of experience.

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Darryl Pinto

1643 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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