Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum has requested to be released from the company.

Werdum, 41, is currently under a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency suspension until May 2020 due to a failed drug test. In April 2018 an out-of-competition drug test revealed Trenbolone, an anabolic steroid. Werdum believes that the failed test is the result of meat contamination.

Werdum plans on meeting with UFC officials soon to discuss his release, so he will be able to continue his career. Werdum has already been denied his release once earlier this month.

Vai Cavalo was on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday where he laid out his situation. “It’s a very hard situation because I don’t want to stop fighting,” Werdum said. “I love the UFC, but the best decision for me is release, for sure.”

A subsequent test a mere two weeks after the first test in April actually came back clean, so there is definitely a chance that what Werdum is saying about contamination is true. “I don’t understand this,” Werdum said. “How is it that you have something in your body, and two weeks later you have nothing more?”

It is unclear what will be next for the Brazilian, but he has made it clear that there is no bad blood with the UFC and he would even stay out of promotions in America so that he would not be competing against the company. “I love the UFC, a very nice company.” “I will fight in Japan, in Russia,” said Werdum.

Werdum captured the UFC heavyweight title back in 2015 at UFC 188 in Mexico City against Cain Velasquez. Although he never successfully defended the belt, he did hold it for almost a year. In his first attempt at defending the title, he was shockingly KO’d by Stipe Miocic at UFC 198. Since then, it has been a rocky road for Vai Cavalo. He is 3-2 since losing his belt, most recently getting KO’d by Alexander Volkov.

“I’m very young. I’m 41, but my mind is like I’m 28. My body is OK yet,” Werdum told Helwani. While I understand why Werdum is requesting his release, I still think that he could make another run for the UFC heavyweight title if he were to wait it out. Yes he is 41, but we all know how hectic the heavyweight division is, there is plenty of room for a guy like Werdum to fit in somewhere.

This is somewhat of a sad situation to me. If Werdum took that steroid knowingly with the intention to get ahead of the competition then yes, he is a cheater and should be treated as such. But if not, you hate to see one of the best heavyweights of all time, the man who broke Fedor’s ridiculous winning streak, the man who beat Cain Velasquez in Mexico, go out on such a sour note.

From the smiles he brought, to threatening Colby Covington with a boomerang, to the beautiful submissions, Fabricio Werdum will without a doubt have left his mark on the UFC and the MMA community as a whole. Wish him nothing but the best moving forward.

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Hunter Shelton

Journalism major at the University of Kentucky. Sharing my love of sports and writing with the world.