Masvidal, Edwards get into backstage altercation

LONDON — A postfight melee broke out backstage between UFC welterweights Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards on Saturday, shortly after Masvidal’s stunning victory over Darren Till in the main event of UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena.

Masvidal (33-13) knocked out Till in the second round of their fight. Minutes later, while Masvidal was doing a live interview with ESPN backstage, Edwards walked by and directed some words in his direction. Masvidal left the interview to confront Edwards and was then caught on camera throwing and landing a few punches to Edwards’ face. The two were quickly separated, and the incident did not escalate further.

Edwards suffered a cut under his left eye and was treated before leaving the arena.

Sources told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani that local police were at the fighters’ hotel in London investigating the altercation.

Before the altercation, Edwards, who defeated Gunnar Nelson via unanimous decision in the co-main event Saturday, had told ESPN he had hoped to fight Masvidal next.

“I can’t even believe that this happened,” UFC president Dana White told ESPN. “We need to do a much better job of making sure this s— doesn’t happen at any of our events.”

UFC senior vice president David Shaw told reporters he had seen video of the incident but didn’t have any further details about the next steps that would be taken.

“I was just shown the video backstage,” Shaw said. “Looks like an altercation feeding from an interview. Not sure how it was instigated. Not sure the aftermath or if any damage was done.

“In instances like this, the first order of business is to make sure the camps are separated, people go different directions and everything is calmed down. The No. 1 priority for us — not only the fans, as we’re in a live-event scenario, and our athletes — is the staff and kind people who help and host us in this building. We want to make sure no one gets hurt. That’s where we are at right now. I’m sure as things progress, we’ll feel pretty confident about next steps.”

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