It was unequivocally the Conor McGregor show at today's (July 9, 2015) UFC 189/The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 21 Finale press conference in Las Vegas (video).
McGregor, dressed in a black button-down shirt and gold tie (perhaps a nod to the Reebok champion line) -- and once again rocking his shades indoors -- remained at a constant confident keel. He kicked things off by telling UFC head of public relations, Dave Sholler, that it should be him behind the podium since he's responsible for UFC's record-setting live gate at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"I am happy to be representing my country on this stage," he said. "I am happy to be giving the UFC a $7.1 million gate because it is me who is giving them this gate and nobody else. Realistically, Dave here shouldn't even be up here. I should be on that podium. I should be standing right there. That should be my spot and Dave, maybe, you should sit here. Because it's me who has brought in all of this $7.1 million gate. Highest numbers every time. You have superstars singing us to the Octagon. Who do you think got that? Me."
Chad Mendes, who stepped in on short notice for injured UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, looked visibly annoyed at McGregor's comments and antics, vowing to "destroy" his Irish counterpart. Several other times Mendes said he "couldn't understand" McGregor in what seemed as a knock on the Irishman's accent.
McGregor remained unwavering throughout the presser and said he's "waiting patiently to pull the trigger" on Mendes on Saturday night (July, 11, 2015) before reminding everyone "a lot of build up" went into UFC 189, which he referred to as his own personal show.
And when the fight unfolds he said he will savor every moment.
"Like I said, I built this event," said McGregor. "This is 'The McGregor Show,' make no mistake about it. So when I go inside that Octagon I'm going to pull the trigger on my opponent and I'm going to enjoy every damn second of it."
A hypothetical question was given to the Irish fighter: What if it was Mendes the whole time and not Aldo, would the numbers have still been the same?
Of course, McGregor said "yes."
"I feel it would," he said. "I feel with the roll off of the [Dennis] Siver fight, with the record-breaking numbers of the Siver fight it was continuing to grow. It does not matter who is front of me. If it was Frankie [Edgar] it would still roll through. If it was Nate [Diaz], it would still roll through. Whoever they have, as long as it's me on the other side. Let's say I pull out. Let's say I pull out and it's Jose and Chad up here. The gate easily … Chad's last gate $545, 607. That's less than my show money. That's absolutely embarrassing. So, as long as I'm here, the numbers remain."
UFC 100 has been long known as the benchmark for the biggest and most successful event in the promotion's history. With a $7.1 million gate, UFC 189 would eclipse that high-water mark in the United States. And Sholler affirmed what company president Dana White boasted earlier this week (read it here), saying the pay-per-view (PPV) pre-sales are "through the roof."
McGregor was asked to reflect on UFC 100 and UFC 189 surpassing it.
"I'm a dreamer," he said. "I always dream. I always visualize. Of course watching UFC 100 and seeing the magnitude of that event and the fact that we've surpassed that. I'm 26 years of age and I hold every record in the game. And on Saturday night the pay-per-view record will be the final one. It's been a phenomenal journey and at the same time I'm 26-years-old and I am still young and I already have every record. I'm still warming up here, you haven't seen nothing yet."
Seemingly all that and "Notorious" has not even become an "interim" UFC champion ... yet.