When Werdum was 21 years old in 1998 he had a GF whos EX always came to his house because he was a family friend. One day he challenged Werdum to a grappling match and Werdum got submitted by triangle choke in about 5 seconds. He got embarrassed in front of his GF so he started training right away. He couldn't even afford a gi but his first instructor saw how talented and determined he was so he lent him a gi and let him train for free.
In 2000 Werdum won the worlds at blue belt. After he won the worlds whenever that guy would come around the house Werdum would ask if he wanted to grapple. Eventually the guy stopped coming around. Werdum kept training and the rest is history.
He got his black belt in 2003 from Marcio Corleta and Sylvio Behring. A year later he signed with Pride to fight MMA and in his contract was a clause that he could go to Croatia and train Mirko Cro Cop.
So from 21 years old, to 26 years old he moved from losing to a white belt by triangle to training Cro Cop and fighting in pride.
If anyone ever says they are to old to train. Armbar them.