Former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum went from zero to hero on Tuesday after he saved a drowning teenager at a beach in South California.
The Brazilian mixed martial artist was just spending time with his family for the holiday in Torrance, California but came out when needed the most as he helped a lifeguard saved two drowning teenagers at the sea.
Fabricio Werdum, who was a former champion at the UFC’s heavyweight division, pulled off a heroic act on Tuesday as he came to a teenager’s aid, who was drowning at a beach in California.
The two-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion did not hesitate to volunteer to save the drowning teens when he found out that there was only one lifeguard who will try to rescue them.
While his wife was hesitant at first, Werdum did not think twice and immediately took the lifevest and bravely swam at the sea to take the limping teenager back at the shore.
Werdum recalled the heart-stopping rescue in an interview with Brazilian media outlet AgFight.
“When we saw the fireman’s car, the car stopped in front of us. I said I was going to help, and Karine (his wife) wasn’t sure, because it was dangerous. But when I looked, there were two tiny heads at sea yelling ‘help.’ They were very far, about 70 meters away. When the lifeguard grabbed the board by himself, I took off my coat and ran.
“I took the orange floater, threw it across my chest, and I arrived with him, a little further ahead even. I told him to get the girl, who was screaming a lot, and I got the boy, who was already limp. I was able to get him, and we swam toward the beach. Then, at shore, an old man helped me. The waves were big. The girl sank about three times.”
Worse Than A Fight
His wife, Karine Groff, hailed Werdum as a hero, uploading a video of his husband walking the boy back on the beach after saving saved him from imminent death.
Watch the video below:
Despite spending many years inside the Octagon and fighting in front of thousands of people, Werdum still felt anxious during the rescue. He described the feeling as “worse” than an MMA fight.
“Wow, my heart was beating a million. It’s an extreme situation. The heart goes to a million. It’s worse than a fight. It’s not even close.”
Vai Cavalo captured and unified the heavyweight championship against Cain Velasquez in 2015 after winning the interim title in the previous year against Mark Hunt. But in 2016, he surrendered the belt to Stipe Miocic, following a first-round knockout loss.
Currently, the 41-year old fighter is under a two-year suspension by the United States Anti-doping Agency but has requested the UFC for a release as he palns to pursue a career outside the US.
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/Fabricio Werdum and Karine Groff)