UFC held the first press conference for the new main event on Wednesday and the fireworks exploded between the two headliners on a nuclear level.
The press event started off as a one-man “Conor McGregor Show,” with McGregor taking shots at Rafael dos Anjos for pulling out of the originally scheduled fight with what the Irishman described as a “bruised foot.” He also ripped into Frankie Edgar for talking so much about wanting the fight only to turn it down and Jose Aldo for not accepting the rematch.
From there, questions started being directed to Diaz, and from there, things got dangerously close to out-of-hand.
Once the topic of Diaz was introduced, McGregor ripped into him as much or more as any past opponent, despite the fact that Diaz is known for his brash style of verbal warfare — which ended up on display on Thursday as well.
Diaz referred to McGregor’s past accomplishments as success in “midget divisions” and even accused “The Notorious” one of knowing all along that they would be fighting, citing his comments about him two weeks ago at “The World MMA Awards” and the post-fight UFC 194 talk where McGregor referred to Diaz. Diaz even linked McGregor’s name, along with the entire UFC roster, with steroids.
For his part, McGregor boasted about making Diaz a millionaire, asking him many times how it feels to now be rich and mocked the fact that Diaz turned down fighting McGregor at 155 pounds, 160 pounds and 165 pounds, forcing their bout to be contested in the 170-pound Welterweight division.
As far as those steroid accusations? Yeah, “The Notorious” one had a response for those as well.
McGregor quickly got heated when the accusation was initially made, standing out of his chair and making it clear that he doesn’t want his name even mentioned with steroids. He then turned the tables and brought up some of Diaz’s “Scrap Pack” (Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz, Jake Shields and Gilbert Melendez) members from the Cesar Gracie gym in California for failing drug tests in the past. McGregor asked Diaz repeatedly if he knew what they were on in advance, with Diaz sitting silent in response.
Finally, “Mystic Mac” was asked for his prediction on the fight.
McGregor made it clear that while he respects Diaz, it’s business inside the Octagon and he will take him out via knockout at the end of the first round.
UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz takes place on Saturday, March 5, 2016 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Make sure to visit MMANews.com on 3/5 for the best live UFC 196 round-by-round results coverage on the web!