Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum and top five ranked welterweight Colby Covington were involved in a physical altercation in Australia in the early morning local time on Thursday.
There are two conflicting stories circulating about what unfolded at the UFC’s host hotel in Sydney just days ahead of the event there on Saturday night.
One source said that Covington was talking on his phone when unprovoked he was allegedly punched by Werdum before security and UFC officials rushed over to separate the fighters.
A second source claimed that Werdum never actually punched Covington but instead just knocked his phone out his hand after the two got into a verbal altercation in the lobby of the host hotel.
While Covington has made no statement regarding the incident, Werdum told Flo Combat that he refutes reports that he punched Covington and instead says he was provoked by the No. 3 ranked welterweight.
“We were in the lobby, and I’ve never seen this guy before. When I walked he looked at me and said: ‘Brazilian animals’,” Werdum claimed. “And I was like ‘Hey’. I slapped his phone and asked: “What did you say?” Then, he kicked my leg, but I managed to defend. Then the guys got in the middle and had nothing left. But he kicked me, he is audacious.”
Covington posted and then deleted a video on his Instagram account just after the incident unfolded where he showed a mark on his face where he says Werdum punched him during the altercation.
“Look at this clown. You’re a f–king clown Fabricio Werdum,” Covington said. “What’s up? You just punched me in the face. You wanna come punch me again b–ch? What? What? Yeah, you think you’re so tough. Look at you, you f–king f—-t. Yea, that’s right, you’re a little bitch. What? Hey, yea [I’ll] see you soon. [I’ll] see you soon motherf–ker. You’re old motherf–ker, you ain’t s–t.”
A second video surfaced later from UFC fighter Dan Hooker and that shows the two fighters arguing outside the hotel before Werdum throws a boomerang at Covington while they are shouting at each other.
— Dan Hangman Hooker (@danthehangman) November 16, 2017
UFC officials released a statement regarding the matter on Wednesday night.
“UFC was made aware of the altercation between Fabricio Werdum and Colby Covington at the organization’s host hotel in Sydney, Australia,” UFC officials said.
“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 came under fire following his win over Demian Maia in Brazil just a couple of weeks ago where he called the country “a dump” and then called the citizens “filthy animals”, which caused more than a few fighters on the UFC roster to react to what he said.
Covington was in Australia as a guest fighter to make an appearance while Werdum is scheduled to compete on Saturday where he faces Marcin Tybura in the main event on the card.