When Fabricio Werdum saw Edmond Tarverdyan coming at him in the Octagon in Cleveland on Saturday night, he thought about something his mother once told him.
"Mom says ‘Never say bad things to nobody," the former heavyweight champion said at the UFC 203 post-fight press conference. "He started it."
And Tarverdyan, according to Werdum, had plenty bad to say after Werdum defeated his Glendale Fighting Club charge, Travis Browne.
"He said shut up your mouth motherf***er," Werdum said.
So Werdum did what he felt he had to do in that situation, escalating a rare postfight incident between opposing corners with a front kick which kept Tarverdyan at bay. While it briefly appeared from there that a full-scale donneybrook would break out between the two camps, cooler heads prevailed and both corners were dismissed from the cage.
"I just keep my distance, I don't want to kick him, I just keep the distance, you know, he's a boxing coach, and I see in his eyes he wants to punch my face. And I just want to keep the distance. But he comes first. He says a lot of things, a lot of bad things."
Appearing on FOX Sports 1, UFC president Dana White said that while such scuffles obviously aren't encouraged or condoned, he doesn't expect there to be much made of the incident's aftermath. Neither Werdum nor Tarverdyan will be sanctioned by the Ohio Athletic Commission.
"Listen, this is the fight business," White said. "99.9 percent of the time when the fight is over, everyone is cool and shows respect. There are incidents sometimes. It happens. Nothing serious happened tonight. I'm sure the athletic commission will have something to say about it and I'm sure some fines will be handed out."
One interested onlooker was UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, who was warming up for his main event bout with Alistair Overeem but still managed to see the incident. Miocic has been on the receiving end of Werdum's kicks.
"I've felt Werdum's push kick before," Miocic said. "It's a good push kick. I felt bad for that coach."