Fabricio Werdum’s second victory over Travis Browne in UFC competition became a footnote because of what happened in the aftermath.
Before the final verdict for the UFC 203 co-main event was announced, Werdum had a brief altercation with Browne’s coach, Edmond Tarverdyan, that ended with the Brazilian throwing a push kick at the Glendale Fighting Club head. Fortunately, the UFC avoided a full-blown melee, as both corners were ordered to exit the cage before the situation could escalate.
According to Werdum, who ultimately won a unanimous decision over Browne, he reacted the way he did simply to keep Tarverdyan at a safe range.
“The coach comes in and he says, ‘Shut up your mouth, motherf—-er. I said, ‘What?’ For me he’s [calling my mom a whore]. I just keep the distance,” Werdum said at the post-fight press conference. “I know he’s a boxing coach. I could see in his eyes he wanted to punch my face. I just kept the distance, that’s it. He said a lot of bad things. My mom said never say bad things about nobody, but he started it.”
The fight itself had a bizarre moment in the opening stanza when Browne asked referee Gary Copeland to stop the action due to an apparent hand injury. The 6-foot-7 Hawaiian briefly turned his back, but Werdum landed another punch when Copeland wasn’t especially quick to intervene.
“The referee is there to stop the fight or keep it going. He didn’t stop the fight,” Werdum said. “…It’s not my job. I just did my job, just fight. I saw he turned his body. I stopped after that. When the referee said stop the fight, I stopped. I saw his bone. I don’t understand why they didn’t stop the fight.”
Although Browne was allowed to continue, Werdum dominated the rest of the frame, dropping his opponent with a right hand and then landing ground-and-pound and threatening with a rear-naked choke until time expired. From there, the action slowed considerably over the final 10 minutes, but for the most part, Werdum remained in control.
“Vai Cavalo” has won seven of his last eight fights and believes he deserves a chance to regain the title he lost against Miocic in May.
“Before the fight [against Miocic] I had a six-fight winning streak,” he said. “I think it’s my turn again. He got a good punch, but I’m [ranked No. 1]. It’s normally the first ranked [that gets a title shot]. I think it’s fair. I want to fight in Cleveland again because the guys booed me and I love this.”
UFC President Dana White didn’t sound seem especially enthused about anointing Werdum the No. 1 contender on the basis of his most recent performance.
“I didn’t love that fight,” White said on UFC.com. “I don’t know if that fights warrants a title shot but we’ll see how this thing plays out.”
Miocic shocked Werdum with a first-round knockout at UFC 198 in Curitiba, Brazil, this past May when the Kings MMA product carelessly rushed forward into a brutal counter. Should they meet again, Werdum plans on adopting a different approach against the Ohio firefighter.
“For sure, just be patient…I didn’t fight for a year before the Stipe fight because I had an injury,” Werdum said. “In Brazil it was very special event, 45,000 in the stadium. Just be patient because I have five rounds. I believe I beat Stipe Miocic in the next one.
“When I saw the fire truck in Los Angeles I’m very scared. I thought Stipe Miocic is coming for me again. When you have a trauma it is very important you go for your trauma. I don’t want that trauma. When I beat him, there is no more trauma.”