Igor Severino ‘heartbroken’ with death threats after biting controversy, ‘but I’ll own my mistakes and try to come back’

Igor Severino may always be remembered as the man cut from the UFC for biting his opponent, but he wants to move on from the incident.

Severino, who could face a long suspension for his actions against Andre Lima at UFC Vegas 89, hopes to resume his MMA career and maybe one day reenter the UFC. For now, however, he’s dealing with online hatred and even death threats.

The Brazilian talent, who was listed on MMA Fighting’s prospects to watch list in 2022 and joined the UFC after an impressive knockout at the promotion’s Contender Series 18 months later, told MMA Fighting that he doesn’t remember biting Lima because he was in “autopilot mode” after sustaining an elbow strike to the head from Lima midway through round one.

“There’s no plausible explanation [for the bite], right?” Severino said. “I remember exchanging strikes with him, a close fight, but I was in autopilot mode after that elbow. I don’t remember anything after that, the things I’ve said. I only started getting back to myself at the hotel, after a long while, and my team showed me the video of what I’ve done, and there’s no explanation.”

Watch the moment of the bite below.

Severino said UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby visited his locker room after the bout to talk with him and his team, but has no recollection of that conversation. Severino was subsequently released from the UFC, and his purse has been withheld by the Nevada Athletic Commission pending an official hearing.

On top of that, when Severino checked his direct messages days after the incident, he found hundreds of messages of hate, abuse, and even death threats towards him and his family.

“I started to get conscious again at the hotel and I was already cut by then,” Severino said, “and then my social media was flooded with hateful comments, mean messages, people angry at what happened, and also threats. I started to digest all that and feel bad too. I’ve made a mistake and I apologize to everyone.

“I’m sad because the internet is so polluted. I’ve made a mistake and I’m willing to pay for this mistake, recognize this mistake, but I haven’t killed anyone, I haven’t caused any harm or committed any crime, you know? To see people threaten me, threaten my family, makes me really sad and apprehensive, afraid. It leaves me heartbroken.”

Severino and his team have saved hundreds of messages and are considering pressing charges against those people. In the meantime, Severino is flying his parents from his hometown Juriti to Bauru, where he lives and trains at Chute Boxe João Emilio.

Lima supported Severino after the bout, stating that the Brazilian shouldn’t be “cut or fired from the UFC.”

“I’m trying to process all this and go back to my normal life,” Severino said. “What matters the most is us being OK with ourselves and going back to work, to go out, to have a normal life. … I’ll try to have a second chance, try to bounce back and show that doesn’t define me.

“I’ve always done things the right way in my life, always working hard. I left my family as a teenager and spent two years without seeing my parents and my brother, working toward my dream, and managed to get to the Contender [Series] and the UFC. That was a dream come true, and now it’s gone like this. That hurts me inside. I could have a long future in the organization, but I’ll own my mistakes and try to come back.

“I hope it’s not a long suspension. I want to come back [to the UFC], I still have a lot to show. I still have a lot to evolve, so my second chance is for redemption. I want my redemption to show MMA fans, UFC fans. I dream with my return to the UFC so I can build a career and fix this s*** I’ve made.”