Warning: this story contains coarse language
Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov did not disappoint while taking the stage for their press conference ahead of UFC 229.
The event essentially served as a one-man showcase with McGregor loudly boasting throughout, giving his opponent little room to get a word in.
Here are the five most memorable moments from Thursday’s spectacular press conference:
An entrance befitting a king
McGregor is the sport’s ultimate showman and he strolled in with two title belts, signifying his reigns as both the UFC featherweight and lightweight champion. McGregor vacated the featherweight title in November 2016 and was stripped of the lightweight title in April due to inactivity. Time marches on, and now McGregor is presented with a chance to reclaim the lightweight title from the undefeated Nurmagomedov.
Shots, shots, shots, shots
McGregor took the podium with boisterous energy and asked one of his staff members to procure a cup so he could drink whiskey on stage. He offered a shot to UFC president Dana White, who accepted. He also offered to Nurmagomedov, who doesn’t drink. McGregor then mocked his opponent, did a shot with White, drank the one he offered to Nurmagomedov, and continued to ramble, setting the tone for the rest of the press conference.
McGregor didn’t stop there, continuing to boast about the strength of his own whiskey, Proper No. Twelve, claiming its superiority over Jameson. Nurmagomedov eventually grew fed up, barking at McGregor to “stop talking about your bullshit whiskey label.”
“Does he think whiskey’s gonna help him?”
Nurmagomedov largely sat quietly throughout the proceedings, staying composed, while McGregor droned on – largely about whiskey – throughout the proceedings. Eventually growing tired of McGregor’s constant antics, Nurmagomedov asked the question some surely were wondering.
“This is my third fight in (the) last nine months. 26-0, never (lost) a round. I don’t know what this guy is talking about. I don’t understand what he’s gonna do October 6. Does he think whiskey’s gonna help him?”
Many men, many, many, men
There is longstanding animosity between McGregor, Nurmagomedov, and their respective camps which reared its head again Thursday. Nurmagomedov cornered McGregor’s teammate, Artem Lobov on April 3, eventually walking away from a minor confrontation.
McGregor infamouslyin poor form, attacking a bus carrying Nurmagomedov and several other fighters to UFC 223 Media Day, hurling several objects at the vehicle, injuring two fighters. He turned himself into police and was released on $50,000 bail,
Nurmagomedov brought up the UFC 223 Media Day altercation again, saying it was obvious he’d sit in the bus and was willing to face McGregor one-on-one. He then proceeded to call McGregor out for traveling with a large entourage.
Nurmagomedov said the bus incident only served to reveal McGregor’s weakness, saying that he’s a “nice guy” when meeting one-on-one but turns into a different person when surrounded by his camp.
With two fighters sporting a sordid history with each other, McGregor-Nurmagomedov is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated fights of the year.
The final showdown
Although it was McGregor doing the vast majority of the talking, Nurmagomedov didn’t look remotely intimidated. McGregor continued to taunt him. Nurmagomedov grabbed his customary title belt, while McGregor then proceeded to grab the belts he brought into the ceremony – much to White’s subtle amusement. McGregor then continued to hurl insults at Nurmagomedov’s manager, but the show was over, and by then, most had tuned out the 30-year-old.
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