The Ultimate Strongman Team World Championship in 2015 saw the two compete directly against each other in a deadlift hold battle… funnily enough, deadlifting has become rather synonymous with the pair ever since.
It was the Saxons versus the Vikings. Hafthor, partnered with Slovenian Matjaz Belsak, for the Vikings, and Mark Felix joined his compatriot Hall for the Saxons.
The challenge was to lift a 1,400KG car, loaded with over 150 kilograms in the boot, and whoever could hold the deadlift for the longest time would gain points for their team.
Both teams started solidly, but it appeared as if the Saxons were looking the more comfortable of the two.
Belsak was looking like he started to struggle early on, grimacing as he gripped onto the handle holding the 1.5 tonne load. Hall was looking directly down at the floor, getting into his zone, and Felix and Hafthor were staring directly forward, looking as if they were staring into each other’s souls, a possible attempt to put their opposite number off their task.
Hall and Bjornsson began to show signs of tiring at around the 25-second mark, with Felix continuing to make it look like the simplest of tasks.
Felix kept his composure throughout and looked like he’d hold the deadlift all day if he had the choice, but it was The Beast who dropped it for the Saxons after 35.97 seconds.
Thor and Belsak continued to hold the car, and then some, and looked to climb the leaderboard as much as they could.
Eventually, it looked like it was Thor who dropped the weight and the Vikings finished with a strong 41.50 seconds.
These competitions between the pair would add fuel to the fire for their upcoming bout and in this instance it was the Icelandic who came out on top against the Brit.