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Jake Shields would 'probably punch' Conor McGregor after UFC 196 press conference riot

Don't mess with the 209, or you just might got Stockton slapped.

However, it wasn't former lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz doing any of the slapping ahead of his UFC 196 main event dance with testy Irish featherweight champion Conor McGregor. "Notorious" nearly incited a riot on stage during a pre-fight press conference yesterday (Thurs., March 3, 2016) inside MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Older brother Nick Diaz and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran Jake Shields were on hand to defend their Skrap Pack teammate. Shields, in particular, has seen his share of large scale mixed martial arts (MMA) brawls in his heyday, making the current World Series of Fighting (WSOF) welterweight as good of an eyewitness as any to describe the events that unfolded.

From Shields' conversation with the boys at Submission Radio:

"I was just mad because he was mouthing off to me. I mean, if I bumped into him in a club and he started mouthing off to me, yeah I probably would punch him. It's not like I'm going to let a guy like that mouth off to me. It looked like he - I just saw him throw the punch - I didn't know if he hit him in the head or the arm, so I couldn't really tell the punch. I was trying to keep it calm and just went and calmed Nate down. We don't want fines and to jeopardize the fight."

We're lucky Nick didn't look to engage at the first site of a hand being lifted. On that note, we take it to weigh ins, which will take place later today (Fri., March 4) around 7 p.m. ET.

You can catch the live stream here.

When it comes to McGregor and Diaz staring each other down for the final time before they take to the Octagon, Shields admits he's a little worried.

"I mean, I hope nothing happens, but you know, Nate's my friend and if anything...I'm not letting guys hit him. So I'm definitely not...I definitely don't wanna fight and not try start anything, but he can't just go and smack him and think it's okay."

We shall soon see.

For continuous coverage of the entire UFC 196 card, including live updates and play-by-play, click here and here.

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