The tension between Jake Paul and Tyron Woodley boiled over Thursday at a press conference ahead of their highly anticipated fight over the weekend.
Members from both fighters’ camps began to scuffle with each other in the audience in Cleveland. Both camps had to be separated from each other as the jawing spilled out into the lobby. Videos from MMA Fighting showed a lot of yelling between audience members, including Woodley’s mother Deborah.
“Of course (I didn’t want it to happen),” Paul told MMA Junkie. “This is Women’s Equality Day. If it was literally anything else, I’m just sitting there talking about how much I love my mom, how much I love my girlfriend, and of course, there has to be an altercation involving females. It sucks. Just everything about it just looks messy. We’re trying to have a professional event here, and now things are more personal. Probably going to need more security at all these places. Things just aren’t cordial anymore. Tensions will definitely be higher going into this fight.”
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Paul said it was weird to see things unfold. He said he and Woodley’s mother have been friendly with each other and he said he was unsure what happened. Paul said he wasn’t “sorry” for what was happening and called the fight a bit more personal after the incident.
Woodley told ESPN he heard someone talking to his mom in the ballroom.
“They shouldn’t have said nothing. They shouldn’t have asked her what’s two times two. I’m looking, I’m trying to do the face-off and I hear him going back and forth with my mom. Any time something is going back and forth, that’s unacceptable. I don’t care who you are, what nationality you are. It’s unacceptable,” he said.
Woodley was still demanding an apology from Paul after the incident.
The fight is set for 8 p.m. ET on Aug. 29 at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland and can be seen on Showtime PPV.