Yesterday (Thurs. September 20, 2018) one of the most bizarre press conferences in UFC history took place. Fronted by UFC President Dana White, Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov exchanged barbs before their UFC 229 clash. McGregor will challenge “The Eagle” for the lightweight title, two years after his last Octagon appearance.
Things got extremely personal between McGregor and Nurmagomedov during the presser. In fact, the ordeal had a rather awkward feel to it throughout its entirety. Dana White described the presser as the darkest he had ever been a part of to media afterward (via MMA Junkie):
“It was dark, man,” White said. “It was the darkest press conference I’ve ever been a part of. But Conor McGregor is the master of mental warfare. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: He’s better than anybody.
“Even (Muhammad) Ali. You don’t want to say anybody’s better than Ali, but I think when it comes to the mental war game in this sport, or any other sport, Conor McGregor is the best ever.”
White then praised McGregor’s mental warfare ability. When observing McGregor’s statements – past and present – it’s evident that the Irishman really does his research on his adversaries:
“Here’s the thing about McGregor, too: He’s so good at it – he studies,” White said. “He studies every little thing, he talks to people, he finds out stories inside of a guy’s camp.
“Look at the whole thing he did on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ with Urijah Faber, with T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt and all those guys. At one point he had Cody Garbrandt jumping up trying to fight him.
“He is the master. He is the best ever to do it. Nobody does it better than Conor does.”
Initially, Nurmagomedov seemed to pay no mind to McGregor’s ramblings. However, as things progressed, “The Eagle” begun to show more and more emotion:
“You’re not human if that doesn’t affect you,” White said. “It’s not possible for that not to affect you. Conor knows that. Conor came in, and Conor did what Conor does.
“That’s why I say it: He’s the best ever. There’s never been anybody better at the mental warfare game than Conor McGregor. He’s the absolute best of all-time.”
What did you think about the UFC 229 press conference?