Strikeforce heavyweight contender Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1) is no stranger to tough competition, holding wins over the likes of Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and Fedor Emelianenko. But in the opening round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, Werdum will face champion Alistair Overeem, perhaps the most physically imposing fighter in the world and the winner of the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix kickboxing tournament.
Werdum is equally decorated in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and submitted Overeem in 2006. So you would think Werdum’s only chance is to take the fight to the ground when the two square off on April 9. However, Werdum will be prepared to stand-and-trade with Alistair as needed.
Asked if he feels he believes he can hold his own in the striking department with Overeem, Werdum told ProMMAnow.com, “Yeah, for sure. I’ve been training stand up too. Maybe everybody thinks [I’m going to the ground]. Maybe I have a big surprise for them.”
Part of Werdum’s confidence comes from his training camp.
“I have a big camp,” Werdum said. “I’m training with the best coach in the world, Rafael Cordeiro, and great fighters too at Kings MMA in Huntington Beach.”
Along with teammates Renato “Babalu” Sobral, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, and Mark Munoz, Werdum said that he is working with striking partners that are Overeem’s size or even bigger to prepare for their showdown.