Fabricio Werdum is a highly regarded jiu jitsu black belt. A former 3 time World Champion and a 2 time ADCC Champion, he is also a big player as a professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter in the Heavyweight Division having fought in all three major MMA organizations (UFC, Pride and Strikeforce). In 2010 he shocked the MMA world submitting Fedor Emilianenko in the first round, a man many thought to be unbeatable and widely considered the best heavyweight in MMA history.
Fabricio Werdum Jiu Jitsu
Full Name: Fabricio Werdum
Nickname: “Vai Cavalo” is a motivational phrase used in Portuguese, it means “Go Horse”. “Cavalo” (Horse) is also a name sometimes used to describe big individuals.
- 3x World Champion (2000 – blue belt, 2003 and 2004 – black belt);
- 2x ADCC Champion (2007, 2009);
- 2x Pan American Champion (2001 – purple belt, weight & absolute)
Favourite Position/Technique: Triangle
Weight Division (in BJJ): Pesadíssimo (over 221lbs)
Association/Team: Winner/Behring, Chute-Boxe, Werdum Combat Team
Fabricio Werdum Biography
Fabricio Werdum was born on the 30th of July 1977 in Porto Alegre on the South of Brazil. He started doing Jiu Jitsu in his teens after he got involved in a fight with an ex-boyfriend of his girlfriend at the time. The ex-boyfriend (who practiced BJJ) put Fabricio on a choke hold, something Werdum was completely unfamiliar with and forced him to go to sleep. After learning that he got beat by Jiu Jitsu, he joined an academy, at the time, Marcio Corletta’s gym called Winner-Behring.
Fabricio was around 17 years old at the time he moved to Spain with his mother, and many believed this would be the end of a promising fighter’s career, but the disbelievers could not be further from the truth. Madrid of the early 2000′s was a desert when it came to BJJ academies, Werdum decided to open his own, with his head quarters set in the famous football (soccer) stadium of Vicente Calderon home to the Atletico Madrid team. Establishing himself as one of the best coaches in spain, he went on and set up affiliate academies in both Albacete and Saragoca (both Spanish towns).
In 2002 Werdum premiered in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) at a European organization called the Millennium Brawl, winning with his trademark triangle choke. Though being in Spain, Werdum would often travel to Brazil to train and compete there, always with the Behring organization rightfully earning his black belt from Sylvio Behring, brother of the famous Marcelo Behring.
Werdum continued training Jiu Jitsu winning the World Gold Medal on two occasions as a Black Belt, but with time he decided to focus more on the profitable MMA industry. To improve his stand up (the area of the game he was lacking the most) he joined the famed academy from Curitiba, Brazil, Chute Boxe. A prestigious gym run by Rafael Cordeiro and Rudimar Fedrigo, that had produced some of the best Muay Thai fighters in MMA, people like André Amade, Anderson Silva, Pele, Wanderlei Silva, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Murilo Rua and many others. In exchange for his tuition in the striking, he private grappling classes to a lot of the team’s fighters.
In 2005 Fabricio Werdum was invited to help Croatian fighter Mirko Filipovic “Cro Cop” with his ground training. Mirko was an MMA star in Japan and was looking for the best grappler he could find to help him with his game. Werdum agreed and in the mean time opened another gym, this time in Zagreb, Croatia.
Fabricio went on a 5 fight win streak and reached (arguably) the best MMA organization of the early 2000′s, the now extinct Pride FC, he fought there until the organization fell down. Werdum then picked up a fight with the 2 Hot 2 Handle organization just before he signing a contract with the UFC.
In 2008 Fabricio opened an Affiliate academy of Chute Boxe in his home town of Porto Alegre. An amazing infrastructure with 150 sq meters of mat area and accommodation for fighters. After a bumpy start with the UFC losing to a decision against the former champion Andrej Arlovski, he seemed set on a path to a challenge for the belt after two wins against heavy opposition. Unfortunately a stumble against Junior dos Santos (aka “Cigano”) brought the UFC to want to renegotiate Werdum’s contract, Werdum did not agree with the terms and was sacked by the organization, though he didn’t stay unemployed for long, being affiliated with the Strikeforce organization straight away.
When Rudimar Fedrigo and Rafael Cordeiro split, so did Chute Boxe. Werdum stood by Rafael Cordeiro’s side even though he maintained a good relationship with Rudimar. Werdum would then move his training to the United States and open his own academy there in Marina Del Rey, California.
After an auspicious start at the Strikeforce organization, with wins over Mike Kyle and the big man Antonio Silva, Werdum was offered the fight he had been waiting for all along, a challenge against the World number 1 Heavy Weigh Emilianenko Fedor. For this fight he started developing his athleticism and his explosive strength through Kettlebell training. He also brought in the prestigious ground coach Otavio Couto on board while sharpening his jiu jitsu with sparring partners such as Romulo Barral and Bruno “Mamute”. All this hard work paid off as he won against the heavy favoured Russion by triangle choke on the first round.
Werdum vs Fernando Augusto (Mundial Final 2004) Part 1
Werdum vs Fernando Augusto (Mundial Final 2004) Part 2
This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)