On Christmas Eve, it was announced that an injured Cain Velasquez would not be licensed for his UFC 207 rematch with Fabricio Werdum. This, of course, left Werdum without an opponent for the quickly approaching card.
Shortly after this unfortunate news broke, several of the game’s top heavyweights threw their names in the hat, hoping to be chosen as Werdum’s last-minute replacement opponent. One such heavyweight was former champ Junior Dos Santos, who knocked Werdum out in his UFC debut back in 2008.
Unfortunately, the UFC was not able to put this Werdum-Dos Santos rematch together on such short notice, and Werdum was pulled from the card. According to Dos Santos, this is because Werdum turned the fight down.
In an interview with MMAFighting.com, Werdum refuted Dos Santos’ claim, blasting him with a homophobic rant. While Werdum assured that he has ‘nothing against gays,’ his statements were undeniably off-color and are likely to land him in some hot water.
“What ‘Cigano’ said was a bit weird,” Werdum said. “‘Cigano’ has been chasing me for a long time. You usually go after the belt, not a fighter. I think that’s weird. I wasn’t offered this [fight]. He’s saying I turned it down. I’d fight him just to end this story of him chasing me.”
“Some people think he’s jealous because I became champion [by] beating his ‘dad’ Cain Velasquez, but I don’t think that’s the case,” Werdum continued. “I think he didn’t come out of the closet yet. I don’t have anything against homosexuals, but ‘Cigano’ needs to get out of the closet. He must have something because he won’t forget me. I already told him I’m married. Nothing against gays, but everyone does their own thing.”
As a competitor in a promotion that recently crowned its first openly gay champion in Amanda Nunes, Werdum’s words are extremely off-putting. What repercussions await him – if any – remains to be seen.
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