Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov finally came face to face in New York as they took part in a press conference ahead of their October 6 title fight.
The two men will clash in Las Vegas next month when the lightweight belt will be on the line at the T-Mobile Arena.
It will be the first time McGregor will walk to the Octagon in almost two years since he knocked out Eddie Alvarez to win the 155lb belt.
Since then he has been stripped of both the featherweight and lightweight belts but he also traded punches with Floyd Mayweather in the boxing ring before losing by 10th-round stoppage 13 months ago.
In the interim period, Nurmagomedov beat Al Iaquinta to win the vacant belt and will make his first defence against the Irishman in just over two weeks’ time.
Here is a selection of highlights from what was a fiery press conference…
On his aim of being an owner in the UFC
McGregor: If I was an owner, I’d have had fans in the arena, where are the fans at? That’s who we fight for, that’s who pays the bills and who deserve the show. I’m on probation and up to my eyeballs on all sort of civil cases. Bring the fans here, here we are. I didn’t get what I asked for.
On coming back
McGregor: I came back for the love of this, to shut this man up, this rat, this weasel. A man who grows in numbers but when confronted on his own cowers away, thats what yous we on the bus. He s*** his jocks. I came back for the love of fighting and the love of war. I am going to enjoy putting a beating on this glass-jawed rat.
On when they used to be ‘cordial’
McGregor: He was a fan boy, he bought t-shirts to support the cause. Nothing but respect, but then in his neck of the woods, a man involved in something – who’s now in prison – started to invest and pump money into his gym. He started to gain false power and think he was a tough man, then s*** hit thew fan and there’s not a bean left. I’m here to put the nail in the coffin.
Khabib: This is everything I expected. I come here to smash this guy.
McGregor: You say ‘send location’, here I am. Did you not see me outside the f***** bus? I showed my hands, no weapons. I went there unarmed and he did f***** nothing. He hid and cowered behind women and caused what happened to happen. Here’s my location, right here in front of you, do something! You’ll do nothing."
*At this point McGregor has a shot of whiskey*
On training camp
McGregor: It’s been a war zone in my camp, we have been preparing for war. All you have to do is look at the imagery and video we have released, we have shown glimpses of the true hard work we have put in for this camp. Broken orbital bones, broken zygomatic arches, swallowed teeth, broken feet, broken fingers. This fool is saying it’s going to be a long night, trust me mate I’m ready for a long night.
You hold on to legs for dear life. what kind of fighting is that? What kind of fighting is that? Your fake belt over there, you beat the guy ranked No.11, a real estate agent. You bring that belt up on stage like it’s a real belt? You’re a phoney, a fake and I’m going to expose you. You’re going to be smoked on October 6 and I am going to love every second of it. I hope it’s a long night.
Do you think he’s going to stand with you?
McGregor: I don’t give a f*** what he does. He’s going to shoot for the legs… he’s an amateur… 26-0.. can you believe it? He’s an amateur in the pro game. He’s fought nobody, anybody he’s half fought has gone to a decision. I’m going to maul him.
On why he came back
McGregor : I came back to shut this man up. The little weasel…. I will enjoy putting a beating on this glass jaw rat.
This is called prize fighting but thankfully im such a crap person with my other entities…
McGregor: Shut up you backwards c***. I don’t have to fight for money anymore, I’ve made so much. From the boxing I made a hell of a lot of money.
Khabib: You come for money, I come for legacy.
McGregor: You’re a fake, lying rat. You’re saying its not about money, you’re a lying b******.
This bottle of Irish whiskey is going to dominate the game. This is a direct competitor to Jameson, I am taking over the business.
I am here to enjoy this. I am going to love putting you out of your misery and stomping on your head.
Just show up to the fight and we’ll do it the noble way.
On this wrestling coaching
McGregor: I am very, very well coached, I am ready for this. We are ready for war, we are ready for all outcomes. You are looking at supreme confidence here. We are going to enjoy this on October 6, that’s why we’re here, because we love it.
On McGregor’s fight with Floyd Mayweather
McGregor: "It was a great boxing match, 30 minutes was my longest fighting match. You learn and grow from every fight, so I was happy with the experience. You will see on October 6 the lessons I have learned.
Khabib: I don’t know what he’s going to do on October 6, does he think whiskey is going to help him? I think I’m going to make him tired and then play with him. When he gets tired he gives up. He moved to boxing and he tapped there.
McGregor: I’ll tap your head off the canvas."
On a prediction
McGregor: Domination, his head bouncing off the canvas. All his pony talk is going to be put on blast. I think one [round], he has a glass jaw. I know he is afraid of a smack and if you’re afraid of a smack off me, it’ll feel like a double-barrelled shotgun.
Khabib: Shakes his head.
On McGregor’s inactivity
McGregor: I am in a war state of mind, every training session is a war zone. Two years out of the UFC Octagon but not two years out of the fighting Octagon, I fight every day in my life. We are coming to the final stages of preparation now.
On the incident with the bus
McGregor: I just thank the Lord Jesus Christ that that man didn’t have the balls to come off the bus, or that the bus door didn’t open, because if it did, this man would be dead right now and I would be in a cell. I am just here to compete.
Khabib: Nothing [is going through my head]. He showed me his weakness, when he came with 40 people it showed his weakness. Me and him are going to be alone on October 6.
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