Former UFC champion Fabricio Werdum’s MMA future uncertain after end of PFL contract

By Josh Evanoff - March 22, 2023

Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum is now a free agent.

Fabricio Werdum, PFL, Pros react

‘Vai Cavalo’ has been out of action since his clash with Renan Ferreira at PFL 3 in May 2021. In that outing, the latter initially scored a first-round knockout win over the former champion after a submission attempt. Months later, the fight was overturned to a no-contest after Ferreira was seen tapping in a triangle attempt from Werdum.

Following the fight, the former champion stated his intention to take time off. Werdum was scheduled to face Brandon Sayles at PFL 6 later that year, but he withdrew. The Brazilian admitted that he was debating retirement after the bout, but decided to fight on. If Werdum continues to compete, it won’t be in the PFL.

As first reported by MMA Fighting earlier today, Fabricio Werdum is a free agent. PFL later confirmed that the former UFC champion was gone as well. The May 2021 no-contest with Renan Ferreira will likely go down as his only fight in the promotion.

In the interview, Werdum admitted that he wasn’t sure if he would continue fighting. However, if the right matchup comes his way for the right price, he’ll likely accept. Werdum named Francis Ngannou, Junior dos Santos, and even Cain Velasquez as possible future opponents.

Fabricio Werdum weigh-in

Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum at weigh-ins.

“My contract with PFL is over,” Fabricio Werdum said. “I did that fight and had all that problem, and stayed out for two years. Not because of that [loss], but I’ve been doing this for 25 years. I needed this time off, and the contract ended.” (h/t MMA Fighting)

“If that happens in the future, give me some time to train and I would definitely do it,” Werdum said. “It could be [Francis] Ngannou, [Junior dos Santos] ‘Cigano’, it could be anyone. Maybe even [Cain] Velasquez coming back now. I don’t even know if he will.”

What do you make of this news? Do you want to see Fabricio Werdum continue fighting? Sound off in the comment section below PENN Nation!


Fabricio Werdum Professional Fighters League (PFL)