If you are an active MMA fan or Jiu Jitsu fan for that matter, I’m sure you’ve heard or said yourself “Man he/she submitted a ton of people.” Well that got me wondering… who has literally submitted a ton of people by weight (2000 lbs.)?
Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum 23-7-1 MMA (11-4 UFC)
Born July 30, 1977 – Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Founder of Werdum Combat Team
Werdum began sports playing soccer as a kid. This is where his nickname “Vai Cavalo”, or “Go Horse”, comes from. Some say it was due to him being a great goalie. Some say it comes from him not being able to be stopped but all agree that his on field soccer abilities gave birth to “Vai Cavalo”.
Stories differ on what exactly drove Werdum to his life of Jiu Jitsu. He began training Jiu Jitsu after being beaten up by his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend. The story goes that the ex placed the unfamiliar Werdum in a choke hold and put him to sleep in front of his girlfriend. When he came to and realized what had happened he joined the Winner-Behring Academy to begin his Jiu Jitsu journey, however others believe it was from a suggestion from a former girlfriend.
Werdum adapted to Jiu Jitsu very quickly, either way, and accomplished a tremendous amount in the sport. In 2000 he won the IBJJF World Championship at the blue belt level. He would win the IBJJF Pan American Championship at purple belt and absolute in 2001. Then in 2003/2004 Werdum would win the IBJJF World Championship at black belt and become the ADCC Champion in 2007/2009.
Werdum began his MMA career in June of 2002 at Millennium Brawl 7. In his debut he scored a first round triangle over Tengiz Tedoradze. Then he would fight to a draw with James Zikic at MB 8 before going on a five-fight run through three organizations. Stopping Kristof Midoux (WAFF 2), Tom Erikson (Pride 29) and Roman Zentsov (Pride Final Conflict) with first round submissions. While also stopping Gabriel Gonzaga (3rd rnd. TKO) and Ebenezer Fontes Braga (2nd rnd. KO) under the Jungle Fight banner.
In his final bout of 2005, Werdum would drop a Split decision to Sergei Kharitonov at Pride 30 losing for the first time in his career. He would pick up two more wins in Pride over John Olav Einemo by split decision and a second round kimura over Alistair Overeem before losing again by decision in his final Pride bout to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at Pride Critical Countdown Absolute in July 2006. Werdum would then get a first round arm-triangle over Aleksander Emelianenko in a lone bout at 2H2H: Pride & Honor before being signed by the UFC.
Werdum would be set to debut against former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski at UFC 70 in April 2007; for the third time in his career, Werdum would lose by decision while dropping his long-awaited UFC debut. He would then rematch Gonzaga and again win via TKO, this time in the third round at UFC 80. Werdum would then get a late first round TKO over Brandon Vera at UFC 85, before being stopped for the first time in his career by Junior dos Santos in a little over a minute at UFC 90 in Oct. 2008.
Now Werdum would sign with Strikeforce where he would compete four times. After picking up a first round submission over Mike Kyle and a unanimous decision over Antonio Silva, he would earn a shot at MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko in his first main event for the promotion. At just 1:09 of the first round, Werdum would do the impossible, make Fedor tap handing him his first loss in a decade. He would then lose a unanimous decision rematch to Alistair Overeem in his final bout for Strikeforce in the heavyweight tournament quarterfinals held in June 2011.
Werdum, now re-signed with UFC, would go on a six-fight winning streak with wins over some top names in the UFC heavyweight division. Along the way he would pick up the UFC interim heavyweight belt via second round TKO over Mark Hunt at UFC 180. When then current heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez was well enough, Werdum would go on to unify the straps seven months later at UFC 188 with a third round guillotine. Things were looking up for Werdum now holding significant wins over several top ten heavyweights from multiple organizations and the top prize in MMA, the UFC heavyweight belt.
Now set to face Stipe Miocic at UFC FN 82 after a rematch with Velasquez was pulled due to a back injury sustained by Velasquez, he too would have to pull out due to a foot injury. After Werdum healed Velasquez was still out so the Miocic bout was rescheduled for UFC 198. Half way through the first round Miocic would get the KO win and the gold from Werdum. Werdum would win a unanimous decision in his following bout at UFC 203 vs Travis Browne. Then after a couple pulled bouts vs Velasquez at UFC 207 and Ben Rothwell at UFC 211, Werdum would lose a rubber match with Overeem via majority decision at UFC 213.
Werdum has since collected two more victories- one over Walt Harris via first round armbar at UFC 216 and most recently a unanimous decision over Marcin Tybura at UFC FN 121 in November. As of now, Werdum has no scheduled upcoming bout.
In his 31 fight career Werdum has submitted 11 of his opponents totaling 2,634 lbs. of men.
In order from most recent:
Walt Harris UFC 216 1st rnd. Armbar @ 1:05 251 lbs.
Cain Velasquez UFC 188 3rd rnd. Guillotine @ 2:13 242 lbs.
Antonio Nogueira UFC on Fuel 10 2nd rnd. Armbar @ 2:41 237 lbs.
Fedor Emelianenko Strikeforce 6/26/2010 1st rnd. Triangle Armbar @ 1:09 229 lbs.
Mike Kyle Strikeforce 8/15/2009 1st rnd. Guillotine @ 1:24 219 lbs.
Aleksander Emelianenko 2H2H 1sr rnd. Arm-Triangle @ 3:24 253 lbs.
Alistair Overeem Pride 5/5/2006 2nd rnd. Kimura @ 3:43 228 lbs.
Roman Zentsov Pride 8/28/2005 1st rnd. Triangle Armbar @ 6:01 225 lbs.
Tom Erikson Pride 29 1st rnd. RNC @ 5:11 288 lbs.
Kristof Midoux WAFF 2 1st rnd. Triangle Armbar @ 4:11 220 lbs.
Tengiz Tedoradze MB 7 1st rnd. Triangle @ ? 242 lbs.
Which is your favorite Werdum submission?
Check out the complete Tapping Tonnage series below:
Tapping Tonnage Vol. 1 – Royce Gracie
Tapping Tonnage Vol. 2 – Demian Maia
Tapping Tonnage Vol. 3 – Frank Mir
Tapping Tonnage Vol. 4 – Urijah Faber