Hafthor Björnsson Says He's Skipping the World’s Strongest Man 2020 Competition

Strongman Hafthor Björnsson, a.k.a. The Mountain, is still riding high coming off his incredible world record deadlift, where he pulled 501 kilograms (1,104.5 pounds). The feat may have been the biggest sporting event of the past few months of quarantine, with fans blowing up social media in response.

Björnsson also used the post-lift interview as a platform to announce that he had signed a seven-figure contract with Core Sports for a boxing showdown with his fellow strongman rival, Eddie Hall. Björnsson called out Hall, stating that he knew Hall had also gotten the same contract.

“Eddie, I know I just knocked out your record,” Björnsson said. “Now I’m ready to knock you out in the ring. Time to put your fists where your big mouth is and sign the Core Sports contract.”

And Hall was quick to respond, signing the contract in a YouTube response video, with some accompanying words.

“I hope you’re happy being the home gym hero right now. Everyone knows you haven’t got the balls to step into competition and replicate what I did,” he said. “I’ve got a personal message for you, mano a mano. World’s Strongest Man 2017, I trained for that like no other man did. And I came in and dominated that competition. And just like I did for that, I’m going to do the same for the fight. I’m gonna train for this like I’ve never trained for anything before.”

The fight is tentatively scheduled for September 2021 in Las Vegas—which puts every competition the strongmen might have participated in from now to then into question.

Björnsson, for one, has declared that he will not be competing in this year’s World’s Strongest Man competition, which was delayed by the pandemic until November. “The next year and a half of my career will be solely dedicated towards this fight,” he said in his Instagram post.

More explicitly, Björnsson said in an interview even before his record lift and the fight announcement that he wouldn’t be at WSM 2020, according to BarBend. That means that for the first time since 2012, Björnsson won’t be on the podium at the event this year.

World’s Strongest Man later clarified that all former champions would be invited to the event on Facebook. That would include Björnsson—WSM had even used a photo of the athlete in its original announcement that the event would be rescheduled to November—but it appears that the Mountain has made up his mind.

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