Conor McGregor returned to the mixed martial arts (MMA) limelight in a big way earlier this week for UFC 229’s first official press conference (full replay here).
The Irishman was returning to the grand stage in effort to promote his upcoming tilt with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov on Oct. 6 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from Las Vegas. Considering the bad blood between the two stars, McGregor took every opportunity to verbally destroy the undefeated Russian champion.
Whether it was McGregor’s personal attack on Khabib’s father or his prediction that he’s going to finish “Eagle” within one round at UFC 229, you’ve probably heard it all.
One thing you may not have seen was the heated exchange between McGregor and Team Khabib during their first official staredown (video replay here). Luckily, UFC president Dana White had someone recording the action as he stood in between the two rival lightweights with New York City police officer behind him.
“Come on I’m not going to touch him. I’m not going to touch him,” McGregor said to White. “Let’s get face to face. Let’s get close and look into the eyes kid. Yeah? Yeah. You’re a dead man. You’re dead. You hear me? You’re dead! I can see blue lips. Blue lips. Blue lips. Breathe kid take a breath.”
McGregor continued his onslaught when Khabib’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, egged him on.
“Shut you mouth! Ali Abdelaziz. A mad terrorist,” screamed McGregor. “Terrorist snitch! I know a lot about you as well you mad rat! I know a lot about you as well. You keep your mouth shut kid! Let them take my picture. How is Noah? How’s Noah huh? Yea, shut your mouth. Never speak about me ever in your life. Watch yourself around me because you will be out of here quick.”
Looks like the presser really was as dark as White claimed it to be.
This was the first time McGregor and Khabib came face-to-face since becoming arch rivals after the Brooklyn bus attack back in April. Fortunately for the MMA community, it won’t be the last time these two square off, as we are just two weeks away from the colossal PPV event.
That is if Khabib doesn’t pull out.