Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum will do outreach to the LGBTQ community in Las Vegas after he used a string of homophobic slurs in an outburst at a media luncheon on Thursday.
UFC officials released a statement on Werdum’s actions after he nearly got into a brawl with lightweight contender Tony Ferguson following a heated altercation between the two fighters.
During the tirade, Werdum shouted several homophobic slurs in Spanish while going after Ferguson, who was seated next to him at the luncheon. Afterwards, Werdum issued an apology on Twitter claiming that he meant no offense by his words said in anger towards Ferguson.
The statement was first released by the UFC to MMAFighting on Friday.
“The UFC organization is disappointed with recent comments made by Fabricio Werdum at a promotional event in Los Angeles. The nature and implication of his comments do not reflect UFC’s views and will not be tolerated, no matter the manner in which they are used.
“We acknowledge and appreciate that Fabricio has since apologized to the organization and to anyone he may have offended with his words. As high profile athletes, role models, and global ambassadors of the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, athletes under contract with UFC are required to abide by the Athlete Conduct Policy. Given his breach of this policy, Fabricio has agreed to perform community outreach within the LGBTQ community in Las Vegas, taking steps to enact change and make a direct impact within the community.”
Werdum’s outburst aside, the former heavyweight champion has also come under heavy scrutiny for his continued relationship with Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov, who has been accused of rounding up and torturing homosexuals within his country.
Kadyrov denied those allegations in an interview with HBO’s “Real Sports” earlier this year while claiming “we don’t have such people here” in Chechnya. Later in the same interview, Kadyrov said that if there were any homosexuals in his country that they should be taken to Canada and added “to purify our blood — if there are any here, take them.”
Several other UFC fighters have also been associated with Kadyrov, who is an ardent supporter of mixed martial arts, but in recent months most have distanced themselves from the dictator in lieu of the serious allegations against him.
Werdum, however, has maintained and defended his relationship with the Chechen leader while stating his involvement is solely regarding his mixed martial arts promotion Akhmat Fight Club MMA and has nothing to do with the politics within the country.
In a separate interview with MMAJunkie on Friday, Werdum added that he holds no prejudices towards anyone in the LGBTQ community while again apologizing for the words he used while speaking to Ferguson.
“Of all the things I could call him, that’s what I came up with at the moment,” Werdum said. “But I didn’t want to offend homosexual people, nothing like that. It’s an argument that happened, and that’s it. At no point was I [directing it at] the gay community.
“I’m not homophobic. And, like I said, everyone has the same rights, and we’re all equals.”