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Conor McGregor warns of Irish invasion at UFC 189: 'I don't think Las Vegas knows what it's in for'

"The Notorious" Conor McGregor was in New York earlier this week for the unveiling of the Reebok-UFC "Fight Kit" (video). The No. 3-ranked UFC featherweight spoke about the "wild" lead up to UFC 189, reflecting on his early days as a fighter, and the number of Irish fans he expects to invade Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 11, 2015.

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK--The unveiling of Reebok's UFC "Fight Kit" took place on Tuesday afternoon (June 30, 2015) at the Skylight Modern on the west side of Manhattan, and several of the UFC's biggest stars were on hand to don the new and exclusive attire (pics), which will soon be readily visible inside the Octagon and at all UFC related events.

Conor McGregor, the promotion's No. 3-ranked featherweight, was in attendance and received the biggest ovation when he walked on to the stage fit in his Ireland-themed uniform.

"Did I?" he asked, sitting on his stool as more media members began to approach him. "I thought maybe Ronda [Rousey], but it's good to be representing Ireland on a big stage like this. It fills me with pride."

McGregor, now 5-0 in UFC, called the event "surreal," and said it was a "cool experience" to be a part of it all. The Irish featherweight from Dublin was asked to the stage during the presentation to go over some of the beneficial features of the new kit, of which the brash personality had only good things to say about it.

"I love it; I absolutely love it," he said. "I didn't really realize until today that it was going to be country for country and I really like the idea. And the championship line is pretty sick, as well. I think it was really well done."

"The Notorious" definitely has his sights set on wearing the latter, which is black with a gold insignia to identify the champions. "I want that shamrock on that championship line," said McGregor, who will now face Chad Mendes for the UFC interim featherweight title due to Jose Aldo pulling out with a broken rib.

Aldo hadn't yet withdrawn from UFC 189 at the time of this interview, and talk had already begun that a win over a less-than-100 percent Aldo would have an asterisk next to it. "I could not care less," McGregor said. "They will always find something, but I will always find victory. It makes no difference."

McGregor has taken the UFC by storm since coming over from Cage Warriors Fighting Championships in 2013, where he was a title holder in both the featherweight and lightweight divisions and he's since become a huge star.

In his UFC debut in Sweden on a FUEL TV card, he knocked out Marcus Brimage and yelled "Dana, 60 Gs baby," in his post-fight interview. And since then, he has become the biggest trash talker in the sport, and has backed up every single word of it, winning all five of his fights and earning four performance bonuses, all while garnering a mass amount of headlines and attention throughout.

Three-piece suits, sunglasses, controversial quotes, bold claims and predictions have all become synonymous with McGregor. After defeating Dennis Siver at UFC Fight Night 59 in Boston back in January, he calmly sat at the dais with two fingers of Irish whiskey like he was Don Draper from Mad Men unwinding from a day at the office. Love him or hate him, the polarizing featherweight has the "it" factor and is definitely one of a kind.

But, he's also very aware things weren't always this way and said he doesn't "go up or down," anymore since being thrust into the spotlight, he just "remains neutral." When asked about his two-year ascension through the ranks, the UFC 189 headliner said there isn't a day that goes by where he doesn't look back on how far he has come.

"Every day I reflect," he said wholeheartedly. "I'm grateful every single day. I always remember where I came from. I remember the struggles. I enjoy the comfort and I carry on."

At the end of March, the UFC went on a eight-city media tour all over the globe to promote UFC 189. A vicious cycle of media obligations, and a rinse and repeat of airports, plane rides, shuttles and sitting up on the dais to talk with thousands of fans. He'll be off to Vegas for UFC 189 soon enough, but on this day he was in Manhattan for the historic launch of Reebok's UFC sponsorship.

McGregor said he's become a "master of juggling media obligations and training preparations," and isn't fazed by any of it. He understands his role and what is asked of him and he's embraced it.

"It's been wild," he said. "It's part of the business. If you can't handle this you are in the wrong game. I can handle this."

He put strong emphasis on the end of his sentence and said it slow and deliberately to let it be known he is a fighter that is in control of his career. His camp is "set to normal," still, despite all the media hoopla and travel and "everything is good," he says.

Come July 11, 2015, McGregor expects another raucous crowd filled with fellow Irishman that will blow the roof off the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.

"The whole country I expect," he said when asked how many Irish fans will be in attendance. "It's going to be intense. I don't think Vegas knows what it's in for. July 11th they are in for a treat."

Perhaps a "sick" repeat of this?

And as for a reappearance of the whiskey should he earn his sixth victory inside the Octagon, he replied, "You're damn right."

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