How bullies bully
Some bullies tease and harass. Some use force, to achieve their purposes, but that takes effort, so most rely on intimidation. The threat of a punch in the nose is worse than an actual punch in the nose. Once punched, it is over, except for the healing. However, a threat of harm will have you leery, cautious, and worrying for weeks and months to come. When a bully says, "You better watch your back because I'll get you!" it is better to deal with the situation immediately than to worry about it for weeks. One way to deal with the threat is to say, "No, I won't be watching my back because we are going to settle this NOW!" and then take action to settle it now.
Some bullies get their way most of the time so they continue their bully ways their entire life, and some even become apparently successful in life. But their life is always stressful and usually their successes are gained illegally. Bullies do not lead what most would consider a desirable life, even when they outwardly appear to be "successful," i.e. lots of money and "things." Most times their bully ways lead them into failure and/or judicial or non-judicial punishment, but some times they live an affluent life and die of old age. So is life. Nobody said life is fair.