UFC Heavyweight Fabricio Werdum has a long history of altercations with fighters in lower weight classes, and has been caught on video throwing a boomerang at Colby Covington in his most recent incident.
It’s safe to say that the UFC Sydney card coming up this weekend has mostly flown under the radar. Overshadowed by the recent UFC 217 and UFC Norfolk cards, which were stacked, UFC Fight Night 121 is more of a middling card at best. While it’s never good to judge a card before it plays out, there certainly wasn’t much buzz heading into Sunday’s event. Until headliner Fabricio Werdum threw a boomerang at Colby Covington.
Now, UFC Sydney has buzz, for all the wrong reasons.
In Sydney Wednesday ahead of the event, Werdum (who replaced Mark Hunt in the main even against Marcin Tybura) and Covington (there in a promotional capacity) got into an altercation outside their hotel. Covington, who called Brazilians “filthy animals” following his win over Demian Maia at UFC Fight Night 119, made some off-colour remarks to the Brazilian ex-heavyweight champ, according to Werdum. That led to Werdum losing his cool, something he has become infamous for. Werdum, apparently unaware that it would be the most stereotypical assault possible on Australian soil, then threw a boomerang at Covington, hitting him.
Covington alleged he was also punched.
Werdum told his side of the story to UOL Online (translation via MMA Fighting):
I went down with my master 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.
Not surprisingly, Werdum makes no mention of throwing the boomerang. However, UFC fighter Dan Hooker caught part of the confrontation on video. Covington also posted his own video, which showed an earlier part of the confrontation, prior to the boomerang incident. Covington can be heard using a gay slur on the video, and accusing Werdum of hitting him.
@FabricioWerdum attacks @ColbyCovMMA with a boomerang outside the hotel for UFC Sydney! 😵 pic.twitter.com/MCadJmCaXu
— Dan Hangman Hooker (@danthehangman) November 16, 2017
It will be interesting to see what sort of punishment the UFC doles out for the incident. Covignton has continued with the anti-Brazil rhetoric since his appearance in the country. While he might be trying to take on the role of a heel, it’s clear the UFC’s Brazilian’s contingent don’t take kindly to their country being singled out. That said, Werdum is now a repeat offender, and seems incapable of controlling his anger when goaded. That’s a bad look for a former champion who should be leading by example.
In a statement released after the incident, the UFC said that “UFC was made aware of the altercation between Fabricio Werdum and Colby Covington at the organization’s host hotel in Sydney, Australia. The organization will conduct a full investigation to determine if the Athlete Conduct Policy was violated before taking any further action on this matter.”