While former UFC champion Fabricio Werdum has been faced with plenty of challenges in the Octagon, nothing from his fighting career could have prepared him for the life-or-death situation he recently found himself in.
According to Brazilian website AgFight.com (h/t MMAJunkie), Werdum was on the beach near his home in Torrance, Calif., on Sunday when he noticed two people struggling in the water. It was then that the 41-year-old sprung into action.
Werdum recalled the situation to AgFight.com:
"We had been on the beach for almost an hour. When we saw the fireman's car, the car stopped in front of us. I said I was going to help and Karine (wife) was in doubt, because it was dangerous, but when I looked, they had two little heads in the sea shouting 'help'. They were very far, about 70 meters in. When the lifeguard picked up the board alone, I took off my coat and ran off.
"I took the orange buoy, I crossed it in the chest and I arrived with him, a little ahead still. I told him to get the girl, who was screaming a lot, and I got the boy, who was soft already. I was able to catch him and we went towards (the beach). Then, on the border, a gentleman helped me. (...) The waves were large, the gui sank some three times. Wow, the heart was the million, it's an extreme situation, the heart goes to a million. It's worse than fighting. It does not even come close."
An AgFight.com YouTube video appears to show footage of Werdum exiting the ocean with the boy he rescued:
Werdum, who owns a 23-8-1 career record, won the undisputed heavyweight title at UFC 188 in June 2015 over Cain Velasquez. He requested his release from the UFC in early January while in the midst of a two-year suspension from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency after testing positive for trenbolone out of competition.