A man accused of murdering Brazilian Lucio Stein Rodrigues outside a pub in Sydney's CBD allegedly told police he was just trying to get "out of there without getting hurt".
The 34-year-old Brazilian national was killed after he was hit outside Scruffy Murphy's Hotel in the inner city in the early hours of November 3 last year.
Nicholas Lambaditis, also 34, has been charged with his murder and with assault occasioning actual bodily harm over the alleged attack of another man Eric Heward on the same night.
In a hearing on Thursday, Magistrate Greg Grogin told Central Local Court that CCTV footage "seems to show there were some words spoken" outside the pub.
A scuffle then broke out between Lambaditis and Mr Heward, sparking Mr Rodrigues's involvement, he said.
Moments later, the Brazilian national was knocked to the ground.
When Lambaditis was later asked by police why he struck Mr Rodrigues, he allegedly told them: "the only reason I punched him is because he was attacking me."
"I dare say he (Rodrigues) was defending his friend," Lambaditis said, adding later: "I just wanted to get out of there without getting hurt."
Lambaditis's lawyers were seeking to cross examine Mr Heward about the altercation at a pre-trial hearing.
But Mr Grogin rejected their application saying Mr Heward told police he didn't remember anything about the alleged attack.
"The CCTV is extremely clear. The recollections of Mr Lambaditis seem to be very clear as well," he said.
"There is nothing to be gained by way of cross examination by Mr Heward (at committal)."
Lambaditis was sent to the Supreme Court for trial where he is due to enter formal pleas on October 3.