UFC welterweights Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards won the last two official bouts on the UFC Fight Night card at O2 Arena in London Saturday night, then decided to put on an encore backstage.
Mar 16, 2019; London, UK; Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) and Darren Till (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports
While Masvidal was doing a live interview backstage, he took exception to a comment from a passing Edwards and walked toward the other fighter saying “Say it to my face.”
As they came within reach of each other, Masvidal struck Edwards with a series of punches before they are quickly separated.
Masvidal said afterward that Edwards had his hands up as if he were about to strike him and that he was simply defending himself.
“I had my hands back to signal I’m not coming here with problems,” said Masvidal, per ESPN. “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. I said, ‘This hooligan is here and is going to assault me.’ 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?”
Local police are reportedly investigating the matter, according to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, though Edwards’ team said it doesn’t intend to seek charges against Masvidal.
Masvidal (33-13) had capped the Fight Night event with a brutal knockout of Darren Till in the second round of the main event. Edwards (17-3) had defeated Gunnar Nelson by unanimous decision in the co-main event just prior.
“I can’t even believe that this happened. We need to do a much better job of making sure this (expletive) doesn’t happen at any of our events,” UFC president Dana White said afterward.
—Field Level Media