WATCH: When Fabricio Werdum Threw a Flying Kick to Start the Fight

Published 07/21/2021, 1:02 PM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: Fabricio Werdum of Brazil celebrates after his submission victory over Alexander Gustafsson of Sweden in their heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

While it is common practice for most fighters to ease their way into a fight, others relish the opportunity to catch their opponent with explosive attacks right from the get-go.  


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Perhaps Fabricio Werdum and his flying kick to Travis Browne’s face, in the opening sequence of their second matchup at UFC 203 is one of the most memorable and iconic examples of the latter.  

Werdum’s vicious opening move set the tone for the rest of the fight as the Brazilian comfortably secured a unanimous decision win (29-28, 29-27, 30-27) over Browne for the second time.   


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Fabricio Werdum vs Travis Browne: A bizarre first round 

After losing the belt to Stipe Miocic at UFC 198, Werdum was determined to make a quick turnaround and get back into title contention.  

‘Vai Cavalo’ was soon ready to fight Ben Rothwell at UFC 203, but with Rothwell out due to an injury, Travis Browne decided to step in as a late replacement, taking up the bout on 10 day’s notice.    

Come fight night, Werdum, well known for his prowess on the ground, shocked his opponent with a flying sidekick at the very start, following it up with a flip kick.

As the round progressed, the fighters seemed to be settling down when a powerful right hand from Fabricio Werdum ended up breaking Travis Browne’s finger.  

Here’s where things start to take a bizarre turn. Instead of stopping the fight and announcing a TKO loss in favor of Werdum, the referee allowed Browne a time out to reset his finger and continue the fight.   

Fabricio Werdum’s win and the post-fight scuffle  

The second and third rounds saw Werdum carefully pick his shots, later baiting Travis to take the fight to the floor by lying on his back. While the crowd immediately expressed their discontent at seeing Werdum try to run the clock out, the former Champion chose to stick to his frustrating tactics.

The fight came to a decisive end with Werdum having put up a convincing performance against Browne, both on the feet and on the ground.   

However, things quickly took a menacing turn when Fabricio Werdum decided to kick Browne’s coach, Edmond Tarverdeyan before appearing for his post-fight interview.

Fortunately, the situation was brought under control with both teams being escorted outside the octagon after which the unanimous decision in favor of Werdum was announced. 

In a subsequent post-fight interview, Fabricio Werdum revealed that Edmond (Travis Browne’s coach) was hurling a variety of expletives involving his mother at him after the fight had ended.

This didn’t sit well with the heavyweight, who threw out a quick leg kick to maintain the separation between themselves as Edmond attempted to walk towards him. 


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Needless to say, while the fight may have been fairly one-sided the entire time, the unique opening sequence and the post-fight altercation made the bout an instant classic, going down as one of Werdum’s most infamous moments inside a UFC octagon.  

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