Just days after he was involved in a physical altercation with former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum in Australia, Colby Covington is telling his side of the story.
The incident happened outside the UFC’s host hotel just days ahead of an event in Sydney where Werdum was competing in the main event.
Werdum’s version of the events indicate that Covington was at fault after insulting the Brazilian and his coach Rafael Cordeiro as they left the hotel to get a haircut. Werdum admits to knocking Covington’s phone out of his hand and then he claims the No. 3 ranked welterweight attempted to kick him before security intervened.
Following the initial scuffle, Werdum then threw a boomerang at Covington with security standing between the two of them on the sidewalk outside the hotel in video captured by UFC fighter Dan Hooker.
Covington says that Werdum’s recollection about the event is pure fabrication from start to finish, especially pointing the finger at him for making a comment that started the entire melee.
“Everything he said is a lie,” Covington said on Monday. “I didn’t say anything to the guy. I’m sitting outside, looking on my phone, talking to Tyron Woodley, waiting to go do a promo with FOX Sports Australia to promote his card and all of a sudden I get hit from the side. Why did I get hit from the side? For comments I made three weeks ago? This is free f–king speech. This isn’t the wild, wild West.
“I don’t really care what people are saying. They don’t know the true side of the story.”
According to Covington, Werdum punched him without provocation of any kind other than reacting to his comments from three weeks ago when the controversial welterweight fighter called Brazil ‘a dump’ and referred to Brazilians as ‘filthy animals’.
Immediately after getting punched, Covington says he was trying to get his wits about him when Werdum and his coach came charging at him and he felt like he was about to get jumped and beat down right there in the street.
“He’s walking at me with his coach Rafael Cordeiro, they’re both screaming at me — ‘you’re going to die, we’re going to kill you’ — they’re walking at me like they’re going to jump me,” Covington said. “I’m like get the f–k back, what’s your f—king deal, get the f–k back. We’re f–king professionals. I’m walking back, two security guards get in the way and the guy John Wood from Syndicate MMA breaks it up, gets in the middle of us so I don’t get jumped and attacked again. I already got attacked once. Fabricio’s still yelling at me, ‘I’m going to kill you for the comments you made’.
“The next thing I know he picks up this big ass wooden boomerang — the same boomerang they use for hunting in Australia for kangaroos — and he chucks the f–king boomerang at my face. Luckily, I had good enough reflexes to move a little bit cause that would have hit me square in the face. But instead it hit me in the side of the face and grazed off my shoulder. That was the event. I walked away.”
After the event was over, Covington says the UFC didn’t know which version of the story to believe after Werdum began telling reporters what happened later that same day while he kept his mouth shut doing various interviews to promote the card in Australia.
By that point, Covington felt like he was being painted as the cause of this entire situation so he asked the hotel to provide him with the security tapes that would prove his version of the story.
Unfortunately, Covington says that the hotel would only release the footage to police if a report was filed so he called local authorities and decided to press charges against Werdum.
“The UFC was believing Werdum’s side [of the story],” Covington said. “I’m like I’m not going to get into this tit for tat, his word versus my word. Cause no one’s going to f–king believe me. They’re going to believe this f–kign chump gorilla, who’s a wanna be, aging fighter over me cause he’s been in the company longer. That’s called politics. No one was going to give me video tape or believe my side so I had to get the video tapes from the hotel and the only way I could get the video tapes from the hotel is if I called the police and filed a police report.
“Sure enough I filed the police report, I gave an accurate statement, I said everything truthful to the law and that’s how the video tape came about.”
Werdum was ultimately charged with common assault in the incident and has a court date pending in Australia in December to deal with the matter.
Following the altercation, the UFC moved Covington to a new hotel to keep him away from running into Werdum again but that’s when he got the call that he was being sent hom after originally being brought to Australia as a guest fighter.
“All of a sudden Mick Maynard calls me and he says ‘I hate the be the bearer of bad news Colby but we’ve got to send you home’. It is what it is, I’m not going to argue. I’m not going to fight. I’m a company man. I’ll always go with what the company wants,” Covington said.
“It’s completely ridiculous that they sent me home. I’m supposed to get paid for some appearance fees. I hope I see that in my bank account like they promised.”
More than anything, Covington believes that the entire altercation occurred because Werdum was trying to play the hero after he talked bad about Brazil but that doesn’t mean the former heavyweight champion should be able to strike him without provocation.
“He’s trying to put himself over to the Brazilian fans. Let’s be honest. The guy lives in a gated community in California. The guy’s a joke,” Covington said about Werdum. “He’s claiming Brazil but he lives in a gated community in [California]. How does that make sense? What it is, he’s trying to play the hero because I’m the most hated guy in Brazil in MMA. So he wants to look like the hero and put himself over but really he just put himself in jail.
“I don’t really care what happens to Fabricio Werdum. I’m setting a standard for everybody else. I’m a human, we’re all equals, if you motherf–kers want to come and think you can touch me at an event, that’s against the motherf–king law. You can’t f–king touch me. When I go to an event, I expect to not be touched. Don’t invade my personal, private space. That’s my private space. I’m a human.”