UFC welterweight Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira was injured Christmas Eve in his native Brazil after someone threw what he described as a hand grenade in his direction during an altercation involving his family, he told TV Rio Sul (via MMAfighting.com).
The incident Monday happened in Tres Rios, a small town south of Rio de Janeiro where Oliveira was born.
Fragments from the grenade lodged in his leg and foot and had to be removed at a local hospital, he told TV Rio Sul, which ran a picture of a heavily bandaged leg purported to be Oliveira’s. He said he went to police later to help authorities understand what happened.
In his account of the incident, confirmed by MMA Fighting and initially made to TV Rio Sul, he said he was on his way to put gas in his mother’s car when he saw family members involved in the altercation and stopped. Moments later, he said, the grenade was thrown in his direction.
“One guy came up and pointed a gun at my nephew’s face, and that’s when people started pushing each other,” Oliveira told TV Rio Sul. “They had machetes, knives, a grenade. They threw a grenade in my direction. Fragments flew to my leg and my foot.”
Oliveira last fought Dec. 8 in Toronto, losing by submission in the second round to Gunnar Nelson. According to MMA Fighting, he needed 38 stitches in his forehead after that fight.