Fabricio Werdum won his fight in Australia on Saturday night, dominating Marcin Tybura in the main event of UFC Sydney to capture a one-sided unanimous decision. But next month, the former heavyweight champion will find himself back in the Land Down Under for a much different reason.
Werdum will be required to appear in court Dec. 13 in Sydney on common assault summons as a result of his fight week altercation with UFC welterweight contender Colby Covington. Werdum threw a boomerang at Covington on Wednesday after claiming that Covington hurled a ethnically-charged insult at him outside of the fighter hotel. Footage of the incident was captured by fellow UFC fighter Dan Hooker.
Covington, a controversial UFC figure for his recent anti-Brazil rhetoric, pursued charges against Werdum with local police. And several days after the incident, Werdum remains taken aback by how ridiculous all of this really is.
“This situation, I don’t believe,” Werdum said Saturday at UFC Sydney’s post-fight press conference. “Colby comes to Australia, and I’ve never seen him before. I’m just in my room with my coaches, ‘Hey, coach, let’s go cut my hair.’
“When I go out, [Covington] looked at me and he said, ‘Brazilian animals.’ I said I don’t believe this, and I just slapped his phone. I just touched his phone; that’s it, man. And he kicked me. He kicked me, but I’m ready for the (UFC Sydney) fight, I blocked his kick. And after that, the guys stand in the middle. And two minutes [before], I had one fan give me the boomerang. … [Covington] says a lot of things about my mom, my country. I just threw it. If I had maybe a burger or cake in my hands, I’d throw that for sure, but I had a boomerang.
“But nothing, man; it just (hit him) in the shoulder. This is nothing, man. How is a fighter going to the cops? The guy goes to the police for that? This is crazy. He’s like a — I don’t want to say the word, but he’s like a b*tch.”
Covington, 29, incensed many Brazilians last month when he referred to the crowd at UFC Sao Paulo as “filthy animals” after his win over Demian Maia. The incident was just one of several in a pattern of anti-Brazil insults Covington directed at the country of Brazil during the lead-up to UFC Sao Paulo. Many Brazilians on the UFC roster, including several fighters within Covington’s own team at ATT, were angered by his remarks.
This past week, Covington was in Australia to serve as a guest fighter for the UFC Sydney fight week festivities. He was ultimately sent home to the U.S. after his altercation with Werdum, and UFC executive David Shaw said Saturday that the organization is still looking into the incident.
“From a company standpoint, we’re still collecting as much information as we can,” Shaw said. “We spoke to Werdum and his team, we spoke to Covington, we spoke to the hotel security, we spoke to police. So we are not at a point to make any conclusions yet, it’s just too early. There’s still a process that we need to go through. And listen, at this point it’s in the hands of the New South Wales Police, and I think Werdum’s going to have some conversations the next few weeks with them.”
Werdum, 40, isn’t worried though.
While his court date is certainly an inconvenience, “Vai Cavalo” said Saturday that he is “one-hundred percent” confident nothing significant will result from Covington’s decision to press charges. In fact, Werdum indicated that he plans to use his mandated trip back to Australia as an impromptu vacation for his family — a way to celebrate after ending his 2017 campaign with two wins in two months.
“When I come to Australia again, I’ll bring my family, for sure,” Werdum said. “I’ll stay here one week, for sure. I’ll just explain everything for the judge and that’s it, man, because I know I have a reason, I know I’m in the right.”