A pair of UFC fighters got into an altercation Wednesday in Australia.
Colby Covington and Fabricio Werdum got into a verbal confrontation in Sydney, site of the UFC’s card Saturday night. Covington, who filmed part of the incident on Instagram Live, said Werdum punched him in the face. Covington also called Werdum an anti-gay slur, which could be heard on the video.
Werdum is competing in the main event of UFC Sydney against fellow heavyweight Marcin Tybura.
Covington continued his anti-Brazil rhetoric, which began leading up to his fight with Demian Maia in Sao Paulo. In the video, he said “f*ck Brazil” and called Werdum — and Brazilians — “filthy animals.”
“F*ck Brazil,” Covington said. “F*ck Fabricio Werdum, little bitch ass. F*ck Brazil. A bunch of filthy animals. And they wonder why they get talked to like that, because they’re a bunch of animals.”
Fellow UFC fighter Dan Hooker captured video of Werdum throwing what appeared to be a boomerang at Covington and tweeted it Wednesday.
Werdum declined comment when reached by MMA Fighting, but he spoke to Diego Ribas of Brazil’s UOL and explained his side of the story — sans any mention of the boomerang.
“This guy is really cocky,” Werdum said (translated by MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz). “I went down with my master (Rafael Cordeiro) to get a haircut and shave my beard. We were at the lobby, and I’ve never seen this guy before. When I walked past him, he looked at me and said ‘filthy Brazilians’. I looked at him and said ‘hey.’ I hit his phone and asked ‘what did you say?’ He kicked my leg, but I managed to defend it, so the guys got in the middle and nothing else happened. But he kicked me, he’s insolent. He could have hurt me.
“If I really had (punched) him in the face he would be in the hospital. For sure. There was no punch. He’s delusional. I don’t know why he insists in talking about Brazilians. I don’t get it. He wants media, wants to copy Conor McGregor. He looks ridiculous the way he does it. I couldn’t believe when he said that. I hit his phone and he took a step back and kicked me. We started to argue and he continue to scream that Brazilians were animals.”
In response, Covington told MMA Fighting that the video backs up his account of things and that he’ll be “pressing charges” against Werdum.
“He f*cked up,” Covington wrote in a brief statement. “There's video and I speak the truth. He will be exposed soon, probably end up in Australia prison.”
The UFC released a statement on the situation Wednesday night, promising an investigation of the incident.
"UFC was made aware of the altercation between Fabricio Werdum and Colby Covington at the organization’s host hotel in Sydney, Australia,” the statement read. “The organization will conduct a full investigation to determine if the Athlete Conduct Policy was violated before taking any further action on this matter."
Covington, a welterweight fighter, got heat for his post-fight speech in Sao Paulo last month after beating Maia when he blasted the Brazilian crowd, calling them “filthy animals” and saying Brazil was a “dump.” But the UFC never addressed it, outside of executive David Shaw saying in the post-fight press conference that brass was not happy.
Werdum got into some outside-the-cage trouble himself in September. He and UFC lightweight Tony Ferguson got into a verbal altercation that nearly turned physical at a UFC media lunch in Los Angeles. Werdum called Ferguson an anti-gay slur multiple times in Spanish and later apologized for it. The UFC said he would do outreach in the LGBTQ community in Las Vegas.
Werdum told the Brazilian website PVT recently that he received no punishment from the UFC for the slurs.
“It was said that I was punished for calling Ferguson ‘maricon,’ but there was nothing, it was only rumors,” Werdum said. “It’s over, even Ferguson came to talk to me. He didn’t apologize, but before my last fight he came to talk to me and we shook hands, he said he was my fan and wished me good luck in the fight, so that’s in the past. There was no punishment.”