Conor McGregor forces a furious Khabib to storm out of press conference
Current UFC lightweight championship Khabib Nurmagomedov threatened to walkout of this morning’s final UFC 229 press conference with Conor McGregor if the Irishman continued to arrive late.
Despite UFC president Dana White insisting McGregor was in a car on his way to the Park Theatre in Las Vegas, Nurmagomedov didn’t want to hang around.
“15 minutes I’m here, this guy didn’t come, this is disrespect … have a good night,” he said.
It left White holding court by himself for a period, but he insisted he wasn’t bothered — and acknowledged Nurmagomedov’s “counter” to McGregor’s mind games.
“This is all part of the s* that goes on leading up to a fight,” White said. “I don’t give a s* right now. (Khabib) showed up and said what he had to say.”
McGregor arrived 28 minutes late to huge cheers from the pro-Irish crowd. “The traffic is heavy out there,” he joked. “He knew what he was signing up for, I’ve been later than this. The traffic is heavy out there, there must be a McGregor fight on. I did not plan this, I tried to get here.
“That’s a sign, he doesn’t want to be around me, he doesn’t want to be around these people (the crowd).”
Earlier, Nurmagomedov, who at times appeared agitated, explained that with Thursday being the day of his big weight cut before Friday morning weigh-ins, he wasn’t going to let McGregor dictate his schedule on the toughest day of fight week.
“He’s late,” Nurmagomedov said. “I have schedule, 3 p.m it is time for this conference to begin. Because I have schedule. I have to make weight, I have to worry about myself. Why do I have to worry about him? If somebody is late, it is not my fault.
“Weight cut is always hard,” the champion later added. “Always is hard. Thursday, this is my weight-cut day, that’s why I don’t want to be waiting for someone 30 minutes, 40 minutes. Three p.m. is press conference.”
Nurmagomedov’s sudden departure made for an awkward time for White, who had to filibuster through an impromptu media scrum to kill time before McGregor finally arrived.
When McGregor showed up around 10 minutes later, the Irish star dismissed his opponent’s power move.
“He’s better off running anyway,” McGregor, 30, said. “I bet you he was saying a load of (expletive) over here. He didn’t say anything the last time (at the press conference in New York). So, I mean, whatever. It is what it is. (Expletive) it. These things happen.”
McGregor would then go on to hold his own press conference, trashing Nurmagomedov and his manager, Ali Abdelaziz, making bold predictions about the fight, and, of course, pushing his Proper No. 12 Irish whiskey.
Check out the highlights here: