Mark Hunt and Justin Willis’ pre-fight face off appeared to boil over, with on-site media reporting a commotion between the two after they left the stage.
Some kind of incident just happened backstage at the weigh-in face-offs after Mark Hunt and Justin Willis had a heated face off.
Security sprung to action and Tai Tuivasa could be heard yelling: “Who the fuck do you think you are?!”, “I’ll fucken smash yous both!”. pic.twitter.com/dG8WkiGn6z
— Submission Radio (@SubmissionRadio) November 30, 2018
The face off took place following the official weigh-ins for UFC Adelaide. As the heavyweight duo were nose to nose, Hunt appeared to say something to Willis. Willis then replied before both men became more animated, prompting UFC staff to separate them.
After leaving the stage, something happened backstage which forced a delay to the face off between co-main event pairing, Tyson Pedro and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. As reported by Submission Radio, headliner Tai Tuivasa declared, “I’ll fuckin’ smash both of you” in reaction to the incident.
Speaking to Submission Radio about what transpired, Pedro described Willis’ behavior as “disrespectful.”
“It’s disrespectful,” said Pedro. “I know you’ve got pump up yourself, but it’s like me with ‘Shogun’—‘Shogun’ is a legend and Mark is a legend, they’re from the same time. And I don’t know if [Willis] knows he’s in Australia and that there’s no rules outside of where we are.”
Pedro claimed that he did not know what Willis had said to Hunt, but doesn’t belief the interaction will help the American when he eventually meets “The Super Samoan” in the Octagon.
“I think he’s trying to pump himself up more than he’s trying to pump Mark up, and you don’t want a pumped up Mark. If anything that’s the worst thing you can do.”
Pedro described the scene backstage.
“I’ve gone back and they’re trying to stop the fight, but you can’t disrespect our lead horse. We’re not promoting fighting outside of the Octagon, but don’t go and say that to our lead horse and then come out and say something about our team,” said Pedro.
“I’m pretty sure he went at Mark and Tai was just there,” he added. “Don’t go at our team; we’re all here and we’re in Australia so it’s probably not a good idea.”