MMA fighter and boxer Anthony Taylor made headlines after punching Dillon Danis in the face in a parking lot following the Misfits Boxing x DAZN Series 003 weigh-ins this past Friday in Austin, Texas.
Danis first got into it with KSI during an impromptu staredown and things got wild with contact being made and beverages being thrown before it was separated. Shortly thereafter, video emerged of Taylor walking out to the parking lot to challenge Danis to a fight and after breaking through a group trying to separate the two, Taylor landed a viral right hand to the face of Danis.
In an interview with MMA Fighting, Taylor explained why he made the decision to confront Danis and revealed the jiu-jitsu standout was not just messing with the social media and influencer boxers, but with reporters covering the event as well.
“Dillon Danis, just coming in, he was just being a bully,” Taylor told MMA Fighting. “He’s picking on reporters, over acting tough with his MMA buddies, or whoever the hell he’s with. But he was just acting tough, acting he like he can’t even be touched because, ‘I’m this jiu-jitsu world champion, nobody’s going to fight me.’
“So he comes in to do his thing with KSI, flips his hat, or smacks him in the face, throws coffee and just runs off. Like, man, don’t come to a YouTube event trying to be a bully to other fighters, especially YouTubers who have no legitimate background in fighting. They’re learning how to fight. It’s called a YouTube event, don’t come over trying to be a bully. You don’t see Jon Jones trying to bully YouTubers.
“I took that in my hands to say something. Nobody, for years, has said or done anything to Dillon, and he’s gotten away with it for so many years doing it to Logan Paul, Jake Paul, to Khabib, to all of these [people], and he got away with it. Don’t come to an event, try and be a bully, push reporters, because now I’m going to call you out. You want to fight YouTubers and boxers, fight me. I’m an MMA fighter, too. What’s up? That’s how it escalated.”
Taylor has competed in the squared circle three times in 2022, going 1-1 and fighting to a no decision under the exhibition rules at the recent Floyd Mayweather vs. Deji boxing event — a fight that MMA Fighting scored 40-36 for Taylor against Jack Fincham.
After watching how Danis was acting at the weigh-in, and creating a skirmish with KSI, Taylor had enough.
“I gave him a little push with my left hand, he tried to snap back at me with a quick jab, I threw my little left jab, he tried to hit me, and that’s when I popped him with an overhand right and he stumbled — 50 yards back, baby. Pow,” Taylor said. “Without that truck being there, he would’ve fell.
“But, we should never resort to violence, ladies and gentlemen. Don’t resort to violence because that’s not always the way to resort to things. I could’ve sat down and had a talk with him, ‘Hey Dillon, come sit down with me. Let’s go have a talk and drink some coffee.’ But instead, I said f*** that, I’m going to hit you with an overhand right, buddy. I had to let it be known to the world. I’ve got kids coming to me saying, ‘Thank you for your service.’ What? I’ve never served in the military. ‘No, for what you did to Dillon Danis.’”
The punch looked to have clean from Taylor, sending Danis back a few steps into a truck parked in the lot. While it looked to have landed with force, Taylor says it didn’t land with full impact.
“I caught him like 30 percent,” Taylor said. “I caught him at the end of the overhand right, like the very end of it. It’s not like I stepped into it where he caught the full whip.”
Danis, who is under contract with Bellator, is scheduled to return to combat action to face KSI at the Misfits Boxing event in January — a fight Taylor compares to Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren because “we know what outcome is going to happen.”
The situation with Taylor isn’t the first time Danis was involved in an altercation of some sort this month as after UFC 281 in New York, he had words with Nate Diaz, which led to one of the members of Danis’ group to get slapped in the face.
Taylor says that the incident led to the promoters of the boxing event — which featured former UFC heavyweight Greg Hardy defeating Hasim Rahman Jr. — asking him not to attend, which he understood and accepted. Taylor hopes that the brief altercation with Danis hopefully leads to some change.
“That was my first time seeing him in general,” Taylor explained. “I don’t care about what Dillon Danis does, he’s a troll. But it’s not like KSI or any of these other guys would step to Dillon on the street, because he’d twist them into a pretzel and choke them out, or break your arm.
“Nobody wanted to challenge him like that besides me. I was willing to take on the consequence. It could’ve been a bad situation there. It could’ve been a very bad situation with the aftermath of me hitting him. Thank God there was no bad repercussions on that.”