Mike Tyson could win a fight up to 24 hours before facing his opponent – all he had to do was stare him down at the weigh-ins.
‘Iron Mike’, the former undisputed heavyweight champion, was no stranger to controversy on the scales before a fight and his aura of intimidation could terrify even the most battle-hardened man.
So it was no surprise to see the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history become as giddy as a schoolboy when he saw two UFC fighters almost lose control.
In 2013, the promotion’s president, Dana White, invited Tyson to be a special guest for UFC 160 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena for the heavyweight main event between Cain Velazquez and Antonio ‘Big Foot’ Silva.
Hidden way down below on the undercard was the lightweight clash between Abel Trujillo and future world champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Tensions between the Russian and his American adversary began to run high when ‘The Eagle’ missed weight by 2.5lbs and was forced to forfeit 20 per cent of his fight purse – with half of that going to Trujillo.
As the two men stared one another down, Khabib shoved the smaller man away and a brief scuffle broke out, much to the delight of Tyson.
Nevada officials were dismayed with the pair, but White had absolutely no issues and understood the frustrations from both men.
“The nicest guys in the world are the meanest, nastiest dudes you’ve ever seen on weigh-in day,” White told MMAjunkie.com after UFC 160.
“That’s why I’m always right there. When he pushed him, I said, ‘Jesus Christ, I’m getting old. I can’t even stop a push now.’ … But that’s why we’re there.
“That’s what happens. We’re there to make sure the fight doesn’t happen before the fight.”
“We can handle a little pushing around here,” White added. “These guys are miserable. They’re nasty. He didn’t make weight.
“He know he’s upset about that. He’s losing his purse to this guy already. These are all the things you need to think about. You’re not going to get fined over something like that. You’d have to lay your hands on somebody to get fined, throwing punches before the fight and things like that.”
Nurmagomedov had the chance to exorcise a few demons in the fight, taking Trujillo down a record 21 times before getting the unanimous decision victory.
The UFC star is a big fan of Tyson and the two struck up a friendship, with Nurmagomedov revealing he was invited to the former boxer’s house ahead of his win against Edson Barboza at UFC 219.
“First time I watched Mike Tyson fight it was like 2003, February when he fought Clifford Etienne. I watched the fight at 5 or 6 in the morning,” he recalled as he explained it was a dream to fight in front of the Hall of Famer.
The excitement of fight night has clearly never left Tyson and he will get another taste of it when he returns to the ring at the age of 54 to face Roy Jones Jr.
After turning vegan and undertaking stem cell therapy, the New Yorker has turned back the clock and looks in better shape than ever before.