Mini-fireworks erupted at the conclusion of the weigh-ins in a packed Arena Jaragua in Santa Catarina, Brazil, for Saturday night's UFC on FX 8 show.
After headliners Luke Rockhold and Victor Belfort had made weight, each coming in at 186, Rockhold walked up to Belfort for the stare down.
He kept walking, getting close but not bumping Belfort, when Belfort shoved him back hard and started yelling at Rockhold. Officials jumped in between the two before Rockhold was taken off the stage. Belfort then did a throat-cutting motion with his hands while the partisan Brazilian crowd cheered him, a day before their scheduled five-round main event. .
"No come close, no come close," Belfort said in an interview on Fuel TV afterwards when asked what he was saying as Rockhold was pulled away.
"He's scared already," said Belfort. "He feels the heat."
Rockhold responded when it was his turn on Fuel TV.
"He's scared. I'm coming for him and I'm going to kick his ass," Rockhold said.
All fighters but one made weight on Friday afternoon, but there were a lot of close calls. A number of fights missed on the first try and four had to strip down to make it. In total, 17 of the 26 fighters hitting their mark on the nose with the one-pound allowance, and then most began immediately searching out liquids.
The fight is a big one for Rockhold (10-1), a slight favorite over the 36-year-old veteran, in a battle of the two men with the most first round finishes in Strikeforce and UFC history, respectively.
"You doubt, I'll prove you wrong," said Belfort (22-10) about oddsmakers favoring Rockhold.
There had been a lot of heat in the weeks leading to the fight with Rockhold critical of Belfort's past usage of testosterone replacement therapy, in part due to Belfort having tested positive for steroids earlier in his career.
Facebook fights (4:30 p.m. Eastern)
Jeremy Larson (155) vs. Lucas Martins (153)
Chris Cariaso (126) vs. Jussier Formiga da Silva (126)
Azamat Gashimiov (126) vs. John Lineker (126)
Fuel fights (6 p.m. Eastern)
Roger Hollett (204) vs. Fabio Maldonado (205)
Iliarde Santos (134) vs. Yuri Alcantara (136)
Michel Prazeres (171) vs. Paulo Thiago (170)
John Cholish (156.2) vs. Gleison Tibau (156)*
Mike Rio (156) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (154)
Nik Lentz (146) vs. Hacran Dias (146)
FX fights (9 p.m. Eastern)
Joao Zeferino (184) vs. Rafael Natal (186)
Evan Dunham (156) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (156)
Chris Camozzi (186) vs. Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza (186)
Luke Rockhold (186) vs. Vitor Belfort (186)
* Cholish successfully made weight.