Tony Ferguson, a lightweight, and Werdum, a heavyweight, had to be separated at Thursday’s luncheon in Los Angeles, where they were charged with fielding questions to promote next week’s UFC 216 in Las Vegas.
Ferguson was talking about what fighting for an interim version of the lightweight belt meant to him. Apparently, his answer wasn’t playing well with Werdum, who jumped in and started talking over Ferguson.
The two began exchanging words, stood and continued trading barbs until UFC public relations staff jumped between them to make sure it didn’t go any further than a war of words.
One of the Spanish words that Werdum used, maricon, is equivalent to the English word faggot, which is a slur often used in reference to homosexuals.
After receiving some backlash for his use of the term, Werdum issued an apology on Friday.
“Maricon is common word in the Spanish culture and I do not mean to offend anyone in the LBG community, and if I did, I’m apologetic,” he wrote on Twitter.
Maricon is common word in the Spanish culture and I do not mean to offend anyone in the LBG community and if I did I'm apologetic #heeyy
— Fabricio Werdum (@FabricioWerdum) September 29, 2017
As Werdum was leaving the table, Ferguson also used the same slur that Werdum did. As of the time of publication, he has not apologized, and there has been no word from UFC officials as to whether or not either fighter would face discipline stemming from their altercation.
Ferguson headlines UFC 216, facing Kevin Ferguson for the interim UFC lightweight championship.
Werdum will also fight on the pay-per-view televised main card, hoping to get the better of Derrick Lewis in an attempt to get back in the thick of things and get a shot at regaining the heavyweight title.