clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

White: Khabib bailing on UFC 229 presser ‘perfectly played’ counterpunch to Conor McGregor ‘mind games’

New, 41 comments

Conor McGregor likes to play mind games. In fact, it’s a huge part of the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion’s offensive arsenal, in which “Notorious” attempts to break his opponents before they ever step foot inside the Octagon.

Not this time.

While he tried to make reigning division kingpin Khabib Nurmagomedov sit around and wait for him at their final pre-fight press conference, “The Eagle” — no doubt starving and miserable during the final day of his weight cut — had other plans, and bailed on the festivities before “Mystic Mac” could arrive.

A move that was “played perfectly,” according to promotion president Dana White.

“These are all mind games leading up until tomorrow,” White told ESPN. “If you really look at what happened in New York, I think Conor McGregor absolutely got in his head, got in his manager’s head, rattled and shook them all in New York. I thought [Thursday] was the perfect counter-punch by Khabib. Khabib went out there at three o’clock, said, ‘I’m a professional, I’m here, I’m here to answer questions, and then I’m going to leave.’ I thought it was played perfectly by Khabib.”

I guess this guy was right about those jedi mind tricks.

McGregor returns from a two-year cage fighting absence to challenge Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title this Saturday night (Oct. 6, 2018) in the UFC 229 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, taking place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

While fans in attendance were no doubt disappointed that McGregor and Nurmagomedov did not face off, much like they did in New York (see it again here), they will no doubt bump bridges at the conclusion of tonight’s ceremonial weigh ins.

Where all hell is likely to break loose.