"Why I have to be like dog? Everything I'm going to say will be on October 6" - Nurmagomedov
We wonder if there was even more said than this.
Two fighters, one main event and three belts. Conor McGregor's comeback fight in the UFC is complicated.
McGregor showed up to the UFC 229 press conference at Radio City Hall, in New York, with his featherweight and lightweight belts draped over his shoulder. The fact that the UFC has stripped him of both belts did not matter to 'The Champ Champ'. The king was back and he was happy to crow it.
Khabib Nurmagomedov, his opponent on October 6, is the reigning lightweight champion and, according to UFC president Dana White, he is the "undisputed" one. Try telling that to McGregor.
Even before the press conference started, on Thursday evening, 'The Eagle' was paranoid about his belt. Moments before the show began, the Dagestani went to the dais and grabbed his belt so McGregor could not repeat his 2015 trick on Jose Aldo and snatch it.
Ali Abdel-Aziz told 'Anatomy of a Fighter' that Nurmagomedov would walk out second as he was the reigning champion. One imagines the walk-out order was hotly debated.
McGregor did most of the talking, and damage, during the press conference and White shared their tense exchange during the face-off.
'The Notorious' was all talk, again, while Nurmagomedov stared him down.
Khabib vs McGregor October 6th on PPV pic.twitter.com/VswvTdQEha
— danawhite (@danawhite) September 21, 2018
It was Ali Abdel-Aziz that ended up riling McGregor and provoking a fierce response. The Dubliner called out:
"Shut your mouth, Ali Abdelaziz! Mad terrorist! You terrorist snitch!" McGregor yelled. "I know a lot about you as well you mad rat. I know a lot about you as well How's Noah? How's Noah?
"Shut your mouth. Never speak about me. Never in your life. Watch yourself around me because you'll be out of here quick. Fuck you. Fool."
Abdel-Aziz confirmed the comments that got under McGregor's skin. He said:
"I just asked why he have belts? That's all I ask."
One suspects it was the mere, mouthy presence of Nurmagomedov's manager that wound McGregor up, rather than his specific words. As for the reigning champion, he said:
"I feel relaxed. I try to stay relaxed. Why I have to be like dog? Everything I'm going to say will be on the 6th of October?"
The ante has been upped.