UFC 216 stars Tony Ferguson and Fabricio Werdum attended a media lunch to promote the upcoming event yesterday, but while they were their to talk about their upcoming fights, the big story of the day turned out to be a heated confrontation between the two of them.
It all began as they sat at a table within arms reach of each other answering questions from the media.
Ferguson was in the middle of answering a question when Werdum began speaking to another reporter in Portugese, which appeared to offend the interim title challenger.
“Hold on, I’m talking, brother,” Ferguson told Werdum.
Werdum reacted angrily to that, saying “f*ck you” several times to ‘El Cucuy’ in Portugese.
“When I’m talking you shut your mouth,” Ferguson fired back.
Needless to say that didn’t go down well with the former heavyweight champion, who continued the verbal sparring session with another hail of expletives, repeatedly calling Ferguson, ‘Maricon’, a Portugese insult that translates to, “f****t” – a slur that the UFC have a no-tolerance approach to these days.
“Shut your mouth, you f*cking f****t,” Werdum said in Portugese. “Don’t talk to me like that, that’s not how it works. You can talk like that to your division but with me you can’t talk like that f****t.”
After telling him he didn’t understand what he was saying, Ferguson warned him, “You don’t want none of this sh*t, dog,” at which point Werdum stood up, prompting a UFC official to step between them.
“What do you want? I don’t give a f*ck how big you are,” the 5ft 11″, 155lb Ferguson said as he got to his feet as well to confront the 6ft 3.5″, 240lb Werdum. “You and your punk-ass manager.
“Big guy, right?” Ferguson said, turning to the media. “Big guy talking to a 155 pounder.”
Werdum was still ranting in Portugese, but was gradually being ushered away by the UFC official at this stage.
“Hey, have fun fighting on my undercard,” Ferguson informed him, adding soon afterwards as more expletives filled the air, “shut up before I ankle pick you.”
And with that the tense exchange finally started to subside, with both fighters later giving their perspective on the unexpected confrontation.
“I just came down from a mountain,” Ferguson told reporters. “I don’t want to be around people that bring me down. This is my shit, man. This is my f*cking time. Don’t talk over me. Because when you were in that spot, I gave you the time and the energy for it. I let you be. Don’t be rude. It’s just rude, man.”
While interrupting him was the flashpoint, it seems that Ferguson and Werdum’s bad blood may stem from the Brazilian’s manager, Ali Abdel-Aziz.
“I just don’t like the guy and I don’t like his manager. I don’t like fake people. I can read right through people. Like I told you, I’m a good judge of character. Now that we’ve got that out of the way…
“I told everybody, I was like, ‘Don’t put him next to me. Don’t put me next to a guy that’s managed by him.’ I don’t like that shit.”
Naturally, Werdum saw things differently.
“The guy told me to shut up, man,” Werdum said seperately. “We’re both sitting there to do some media. Someone was asking him a question but I turned to talk to another reporter, speaking very low since we were close to each other, and he turned to me and said ‘shut your mouth’ in Spanish, ‘shut up because I’m speaking.’ I said ‘f*cking shut up? F*ck you! Don’t talk to me like that, not with me. Go talk like that to your division. You won’t talk to me like that.’ He told me to shut up out of nowhere, man.
“I know the guy. He’s not a friend, but I know the guy. He came in with all this f*cking negative energy, I went to shake his hands and he wasn’t pleasant. That’s okay, maybe he’s focused, he’s hungry, on a diet, but that’s his problem, so I stayed cool. When I went to talk to another reporter he tells me to shut up? What is this? Are you crazy? I didn’t beat him up there because something could happen and I could lose my fight. I’d break everything there. That’s why I didn’t do anything, especially in consideration to the UFC and Chris, who was coordinating everything there. F*ck, man. How can this guy come and tell me to shut up?”