Jorge Masvidal was involved in a backstage altercation with UFC rival Leon Edwards in London but claimed he was provoked.
Jorge Masvidal engaged in a backstage brawl with Leon Edwards following his UFC Fight Night victory over welterweight title contender Darren Till because he was “scared”.
Shortly after knocking out home favourite Till in the second round at London’s O2 Arena, Masvidal walked away from a media interview to approach Edwards, saying: “Come over here and say that to my face.”
The pair traded blows and Edwards, who beat Gunnar Nelson via split decision earlier on the card, was left bloodied after the fighters were pulled apart.
Speaking to ESPN in the aftermath, Masvidal said: “So I’m doing my interview and this hooligan comes by saying some stuff like, ‘July, you’ll get your a** kicked in July.’
“I go, ‘Maybe. Whatever. Maybe I want to kick you’re a** in April. Maybe I don’t even want to fight you in the octagon because it’s not worth a training camp, I’ll just fight you right here because you’re a scrub.’
“I said, ‘Just say it to my face, like a man. You’re saying it as you walk away. We’re both men.’
“I had my hands back to signal I’m not coming here with problems. But he put his hands up – it’s on video – and walks towards me. Well, where I’m from, you do that, you’re going to punch me in the face. And that’s not going to happen.
“I was scared. It might not have looked it, because I’m cold-blooded, but I was scared out of my life.
“He shouldn’t have done that and walked towards me like he was going to punch me. I got the first one in. Am I going to be in trouble because I got the first one in?”
— UFC (@ufc) March 16, 2019
Dana White, president of the UFC, was frustrated that fighting had taken place away from the octagon.
“I can’t even believe that this happened. We need to do a much better job of making sure this s*** doesn’t happened at any of our events,” White told ESPN.