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Jorge Masvidal says Leon Edwards 'put his hands up' before punches thrown backstage at UFC London

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Jorge Masvidal was backstage, minding his own business, doing an interview after his UFC on ESPN+ 5 headlining win when things got out of hand.

Masvidal was interrupted by fellow welterweight Leon Edwards, who was victorious earlier in the co-main event. Edwards started talking trash as he walked by, causing Masvidal to turn his attention. Masvidal didn’t just talk back, though. He calmly walked toward Edwards with his hands behind his back until he approached him. That’s when Masvidal threw a combination of punches that caused a cut under Edwards’ eye.

The entire incident was caught on video by ESPN cameras. In an interview with ESPN, Masvidal offered his side of what transpired, saying the beef with Edwards started on social media and explaining that he threw punches because Edwards raised his hands.

“One of these hooligans, man,” Masvidal told ESPN. “He’s like talking crap on social media. I seen him here (during UFC London fight week); (he) doesn’t really address me as a man. I wanted to talk to him kind of, and he’s just like dodging me. Whatever, we can handle it after the fight. So I’m doing this interview, and this hooligan comes by saying some stuff: ‘July, get your ass kicked in July – July.’ And I go, ‘Maybe.’

“But whatever. Because maybe I want to kick your ass in April. Maybe I don’t want to wait until July. Maybe I don’t even want to fight you in a prize ring, because you’re not worth a training camp. I’ll just fight you here. Because you’re a scrub.

“So I tell him, ‘Just say it to my face like a man.’ You’re saying it walking away. We’re both men, you know. And as I’m walking up to him, I’ve got my hands behind my back to signal I’m not coming here for problems. But he put his hands up like this – it’s on video – and walks towards me. Well, where I’m from, if you do that, you’re going to punch me in the face, and that’s not going to happen. You’re a (expletive) dork; you’re JV, beta. You are what you are. You’re just a loser in life. You’re not going to get a hit off me. So I gave him the three piece with a soda, and then just glide out of there.”

Regardless of who’s to blame, the altercation was a jarring sight and an unfortunate turn considering the moment Masvidal had seized not long before when he knocked out Till. Masvidal didn’t gloat over his win and praised his fallen opponent while asking the UFC for a title shot and performance bonus – which he earned double the money.

Masvidal said that even though it might not have appeared this way on camera, he “was scared.”

“It might not have looked it, because I’m cold-blooded, but I was scared out of my life,” Masvidal said. “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?”

That was too early to determine in the immediate aftermath of the incident. UFC executive Dave Shaw said during the post-event news conference that “we’ll review all the details … and take next steps from there.” Shaw added that UFC President Dana White already was looking into it. White told ESPN he was in shock.

“I can’t even believe that this happened,” White said. We need to do a much better job of making sure this shit doesn’t happen at any of our events!!!!”

For complete coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 5, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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