Jorge Masvidal’s emphatic knockout win over Darren Till on Saturday is now overshadowed by his backstage scuffle with Leon Edwards. As seen on video, “Gamebred” reacted to Edwards’ smack talk as he was doing a post-fight interview with ESPN’s Laura Sanko.
Masvidal later spoke with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto to explain his side of the story. According to him, Edwards had already been trying to start things up on social media, until it all spilled over into his interview.
“So I’m doing my interview, and this hooligan comes by and he’s saying some stuff. ‘July, you’ll get your ass kicked!’ or ‘July!’ and I go, ‘Maybe’, because maybe, I want to kick your ass in April,” he explained. “Maybe I don’t want to wait until July. Maybe I don’t even want to fight you in a prized ring because you’re not worth the training camp, I’ll just fight you here. Because you’re a scrub.
“As I’m walking up to him, I got my hands behind my back to signal I’m not coming here for problems. But he put his hands up, it’s on video, and he walks towards me. Well, where I’m from, if you do that, you’re gonna punch me in the face. And that’s not gonna happen, Leon.”
According to Masvidal, Edwards’ companions also tried to get involved.
“Some of his friends tried to sucker punch me,” he said. “Those guys did a big mistake because your visa in America is now revoked. If you land in America, there’s gonna be some problems. There’s problems here already, but those people can’t go to America no more.
“I was taught to respect people. If somebody’s doing an interview, I’m not gonna go to your interview and tell you to shut up. I’m not gonna do it. Do I want to draw that type of attention towards me? No.”
When asked if he would handle things the same way after giving some time to think, Masvidal says he would, but also because he legitimately felt threatened and disrespected.
“I’ll probably handle it the same exact way because I’m not gonna get disrespected,” he stated. “My kids are gonna be watching this interview (and say) ‘Why’d that person tell you to shut up, dad?’ And I gotta explain it to them that some coward told me to shut up on my interview. I don’t go to his interviews – besides the fact the he doesn’t get interviews – and talk crap to this guy. Why is he gonna do it to me?
“This hooligan threatened my well-being, my life. I was scared, man,” Masvidal added. “Maybe I didn’t look it because I’m pretty damn cold-blooded, but I was scared out of my mind. This hooligan here is gonna assault me, and he’s gonna take everything I got. And he shouldn’t have done that.”
For his second-round knockout over Till, Masvidal took home an extra $100,000, both for Fight of the Night and Performance of the Night honors.