190316 Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber Image Credit: A.K Kallouche/Gulf News

It was the schoolyard threat heard ‘round Twitter: Justin Bieber wanted to fight Tom Cruise for no apparent reason. But in a twist that everyone saw coming, the pop star now says he was just kidding.

“Man, nah. I was just messing around. I don’t know him,” the 25-year-old singer told Los Angeles paparazzi on Wednesday, according to footage posted on TMZ.

Bieber also conceded that the 56-year-old ‘Mission: Impossible’ star would probably pulverise him in an actual throwdown. His unusual proposal on Sunday apparently resulted from his recent viewing of a Cruise interview, Bieber said.

“It was just a random tweet. I do that stuff sometimes. I’m pretty sure Tom would probably whoop my ass in a fight,” Bieber added.

The ludicrous tweet piqued interest online and was followed by gamely discussions in the professional fighting realms of UFC and MMA. Still, by Wednesday, Bieber seemed sobered since his original missive, questioning their mismatched weight classes and extolling on the action star’s “dad strength”.

Cruise’s camp has not yet addressed the viral challenge. His rep did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment on Wednesday, either.