In an appearance on the Flow Podcast (translation courtesy: Mr. Podcast BR), former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum narrated a fascinating story about a gym fight he had with MMA legend Mirko Cro Cop.
From around 2004 to 2006, Werdum trained extensively with Cro Cop. ‘Vai Cavalo’ was one of Cro Cop’s most important sparring partners and primarily helped Cro Cop hone his BJJ skills.
Fabricio Werdum recalls a highly intriguing gym fight he had with Mirko Cro Cop
Firstly, Werdum gave a brief background of the story. He noted that training and staying in Croatia was tough for him. Werdum revealed that he lived in temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius alongside Mirko Cro Cop in Croatia.
Fabricio Werdum added that his brother used to accompany him on his trips to Croatia, stating:
“It was tough for me in Croatia. Since you asked me about it before…It was minus 20 degrees Celsius. My brother used to go there to stay with me. And when he came back he was worried because it was really cold and Mirko liked to train at 6 am. At 6 am, you had to push the snow aside to leave the building. You have no idea. It was minus 20 degrees Celsius. We went to his house; trained in his house in the mountains. Few people had a house in the mountains. He built a 200 square meters gym in the basement. You have no idea! 200 square meters with sauna, weights, everything. For Pride, he had a boxing ring. For the UFC, he had an Octagon. You have no idea about the structure he built there for himself.”
“So one time, I was there, training with him. And I went partying on Friday. We weren’t going to train on Saturday. So my friend Igor Pokrajac and me, we went out partying since we were free the next day. But the next day, Mirko calls me and tells me we are sparring. So we went there, and things got ugly. He kicked my leg. He was using two shin pads, this thick – His kick was so strong, it tore my muscle; completely split it. So I went to the hospital.”
Wanderlei Silva interjected and noted that Cro Cop really hurt Fabricio Werdum, in response to which, Werdum revealed the reason behind Cro Cop hurting him –
“You have no idea. It was crazy. And back then I was living in his house…It was just sparring. We were just training. But he was angry that when I had the opportunity, I mounted and hit him in the face several times. There’s this little fact; I hit him several times. But I thought that when the time was up, we would switch and it would be Igor’s turn. We would switch. But when the time was up, Mirko told me it was my turn again. I mounted him and punched him because I was angry. I had partied the night before and I didn’t want to train. I was angry at him. But when I thought it would be Igor’s turn and I would rest for a bit, he told me, ‘No, it’s your turn again’. Then I was in the corner like this, and he kicked my leg. We call it a low kick.”
Wanderlei Silva responded to Fabricio Werdum’s statements, and said with a smile –
“It was more than deserved. I would do the same thing, man.”
Fabricio Werdum and Wanderlei Silva laughed as Werdum continued –
“And the funny thing is that when I went back to his house, the building had four floors. It wasn’t finished yet but we already trained there. We lived in the lower part…So, my leg was pretty bad. I couldn’t even walk properly. And the building didn’t have an elevator. It had stairs only. And I had to go all the way to the fourth floor. I was crying in pain. I was limping and going, ‘I’m killing this moth******er’. I was very angry. And he was there in the living room. I tried to walk normal but I couldn’t. He was reading the newspaper. Then, he looks at me. And when I walked by him, he picked up a sock with ice inside and gave it to me. I took it and went to my room. I closed the door and started crying. You have no idea. I was out for at least two weeks, unable to train.”
Furthermore, Fabricio Werdum lightheartedly recalled another incident where Mirko Cro Cop punched him in the nose, splitting Werdum’s nose apart.
Werdum explained that Cro Cop’s punch split his nose and left it filled with blood. Silva then joked that perhaps he too, akin to Cro Cop, has a role in having visibly damaged Werdum’s nose.
Responding to Silva, Werdum agreed and then returned to the story about Cro Cop breaking his nose. Werdum suggested that the doctors in Croatia weren’t as gentle as he expected them to be.Werdum recalled that the doctor placed a small tray under his nose whilst he had his mouth open as he couldn’t breathe through his nose. Werdum added that the doctor then cut his nose open, he received two stitches, and they cut a part of his nose out with the scalpel.
Werdum noted that the blood then drained, reiterating that he had a tough time training with the legendary Mirko Cro Cop in Croatia.