Another Conor McGregor fight, another explosive press conference.
The eagerly anticipated UFC 229 press conference finally took place in New York on Thursday, and it did not fail to live up to the hype.
Conor McGregor, loaded with his new ‘Proper Twelve’ whiskey, arrived in a magenta ‘August x McGregor’ suit, the Notorious as confident as ever. His opponent, Khabib Nurmagomedov, was much more reserved, both physically and aesthetically.
From the off, McGregor launched into a verbal tirade, insulting everything from the current UFC champion’s glass jaw to the complicated relationship between Dagestan and Chechnya.
Here’s the comprehensive list of every insult the ‘#ChampChamp’ threw his opponent’s way.
2:55 – “I came back for the love of this. To shut this man up, a little rat, a little weasel, a little hard man in groups. I’ve met many of them through my years, a man who grows in numbers, but on his own and when confronted in a similar situation cowers away and that’s what you saw on the bus with that little sh*te over there. He sh*t his jocks after doing something to his own countryman that had nothing got to do with anything.”
Explainer: McGregor is referring to the incident in New York in which Khabib Nurmagomedov and his team confronted and apparently ‘slapped’ SBG teammate Artem Lobov when he was on his own. McGregor subsequently flew to New York and this was the catalyst for the infamous dolly-throwing incident that would see the Irishman arrested and sent to court. A number of civil cases are still ongoing.
3:22 – “I am going to truly, truly love putting a bad beating on this little glass jaw rat.”
Explainer: McGregor is referring to Khabib’s actions of turning against his own countryman, Artem Lobov. He is also pointing to a potential weakness in Khabib’s armoury; his jaw. Nurmagomedov has yet to face an opponent that strikes with the power and precision of Conor McGregor.
3:34 – “Fanboy. The man was a fanboy. He bought t-shirts of mine. He f*ckin supported the cause.”
Explainer: In the past, Khabib’s relationship with McGregor was cordial, at least online. So much so that Khabib even Tweeted McGregor, asking for one of his t-shirts. Hence, the ‘fanboy’ reference.
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) September 9, 2014
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) September 9, 2014
3:48 – “Over in his neck of the woods, a man involved in something, who is now in prison. Vladimir Putin locked him up for embezzling 150 million worth of money from the Russian people, started to invest and pump money into his gym, so he started to grow in power. Started to gain this false power. Started thinking he was a little hard man tough guy. Then sh*t hit the fan with your man, he gets locked up and now there’s not a bean left, and now here I am to put the nail in the coffin.”
Explainer: McGregor is referencing a mystery man, that apparently was one of Nurmagomedov’s financial backers, that has now been put behind bars. In March 2018, Ziyavudin Magomedov was arrested and charged with “racketeering and embezzlement of state funds”
By mentioning Putin, McGregor is attempting to assert his dominance over Khabib, by alluding to the Irishman’s good relationship with the Russian dictator. In the summer, McGregor attended a World Cup game as a guest of the Russian president.
4:27 – “His own countrymen, his own people that he’s turned his back on. They want to see him gone too, and I am going to do it in the name of the Russian people.”
Explainer: Referring to Khabib working with the alleged criminal above, and also the fact that he attacked Artem Lobov, a compatriot of his.
5:20 – “He done f*ckin’ nothing. He sat and took a sh*t on that bus. Hid and cowered behind women and caused what happened to happen.”
Explainer: When McGregor and his cronies confronted the UFC bus at Madison Square Garden ahead of UFC 223, containing UFC athletes including Ray Borg and Michael Chiesa, Khabib refused to exit the bus. The reference to ‘hiding and cowering behind women’ is in relation to McGregor throwing a dolly through the window of the bus and as a result, injuring a number of fighters, including female fighter Rose Namjunas.
5:35 – “Here’s my location, you little fool. Do something about it. Do something. Yeah, you’ll do nothin’!”
Explainer: Khabib has continuously called for McGregor to share his location so that the pair can sort out their differences, mano y mano.
7:52 – “It’s shite-on-the-bus’s birthday. Here shite-on-the-bus, happy birthday.”
Explainer: The press conference was the same day as Khabib’s 30th birthday, with McGregor referencing it while offering to share a glass of his new ‘Proper Twelve’ whiskey with him. Khabib declined.
8:05 – “Why don’t you drink? Why don’t you drink? I’d say you’re some buzz at parties, ya mad backwards c*nt.”
Explainer: Khabib does not drink and refused the birthday toast. As a result, McGregor calls him a boring person to have at parties.
8:35 – “Stomp on his head until he’s unconscious.”
Explainer: McGregor’s response when asked to fill in the blanks, ‘Conor McGregor is going to BLANK Khabib’.
9:30 – “Trust me mate, I’m ready for a long night. You hold onto legs for dear life, that’s how you fight.You talk ‘chicken this, chicken that’, you sh*t your jocks when sh*t came on top. But you actually fight like a little sh*tty jocks rat anyway. You dive for the legs an hold onto them for dear life. What kind of fighting is that?
Explainer: McGregor is referencing Khabib’s heavy reliance on his wrestling, almost demoting it to a lower level of mixed martial arts and questioning its respect when compared to Conor’s almighty striking game.
09:53 – “Your little fake belt over there, that you beat a guy number eleven-ranked, a real estate agent. You bring that belt up on stage like it’s a real belt. You’re a phoney, a fake, and I’m going to expose you. Now, you’re up on the real shit kid, you’re with the real dogs now brother, yeah and you’re going to be smoked October 6th, live on pay-per-view and I am going to love every-f*ckin-second of it.”
Explainer: Khabib defeated Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision at UFC 223 to win the UFC Lightweight belt. Iaquinta also works as a real estate agent.
10:30 – “He’s going to be swinging widly, like he is, sloppy. Shooting for the legs, he’s an amateur. Would you believe he’s 26-0. I’ve never met an unbeaten amateur in the professional game…He’s fought nobody. Absolutely nobody. Anyone that he has fought, it’s been decisions. He’s in over his head.”
Explainer: McGregor is questioning the calibre of opponent that Khabib has faced, referencing a potentially padded 26-0 record.
11:09 – “I stay on bus. Sh*te on the bus.”
Explainer: No explanation needed.
11:49 – “If you pull out like you always do pull out, may God have mercy on your soul. You, you little pull-out merchant.”
Explainer: Khabib in the past has had to pull out of fights for a number of reasons, one of which was missing weight due to an apparent affection for tiramisu.
12:10 – “If you’d have got off that bus, you’d be dead now and I’d be in a cell. So shut your f*ckin mouth about messages. Do I look like a bloke that messages blokes?”
Explainer: McGregor would not have been able to control himself had Khabib stepped off the bus on that infamous day in New York.
13:05 – “You cornered a friend of mine who had nothing got to do, another Islam, a Chechen man, who had nothing got to do with anything. You slapped him and abused him on foreign soil. Your own people, you little rat.”
Explainer: This refers to Khabib slapping Artem Lobov.
13:40 – “When the person you were looking for showed up, you took a sh*t on the back of a bus so shut your fuckin’ mouth.”
Explainer: Again with the faeces on the bus.
15:35 – “The bang of sh*te off you kid.”
Explainer: Referring to the odour emanating from Khabib.
16:05 – Khabib: “Let’s wrestle.” McGregor: “You’re going to be wrestling my knuckle out of your orbital bone.”
Explainer: The clash of skillsets, Khabib’s wrestling, McGregor’s striking.
16:29 – “You took money from Magomedov. Now what? Putin locked him up! Say something to Putin about locking Magomedov up. Say something! Ask him to release him. You’re a fake, lying rat. I’m real. I wear it on my chest. There’s a gorilla on my chest. I wear it proudly. I don’t lie about nothing. You’re saying it’s not about money, it’s not about legacy, you’re a lying b*stard. When money got pumped into your camp by that little scumbag that’s now in a little 8-x-10 cell, you thought you were a don. Now, look at ya…no money left.”
Explainer: Ziyavudin Magomedov was one of Khabib’s backers, but is currently in a jail cell for ‘racketeering and embezzlement of state funds’.
18:00 – “If you pull out of the fight, I am gonna love what happens to you next. Your family and your team even more…Show up and we do this noble way. Pull out and you know what’s going to happen to you back home, kid.”
Explainer: McGregor is threating a worse outcome for Khabib, his team and his family back in Russia, if he fails to show up on October 6th. Perhaps alluding to his strong connections in Russia once more.
18:40 – “Ask deez nuts! I don’t have to do nothing for nobody. I’m psycho-bred mate. I don’t have to lick no one’s arsehole for a cheque, like you.”
Explainer: McGregor perhaps alluding to the fact that Khabib has begged for bigger fights throughout his career, while the UFC has seemingly given the Irishman all of the big fights he asked for.
20:44 – Khabib: “I am the Floyd Mayweather in MMA.” McGregor: “Muh, muh, muh, muh, muh. Shut your mouth, mate. You’re a dirt-box. You’re absolutely dirt. Your last fight was embarrassing. We were laughing in the Brooklyn lockup. We were laughing in a cell in Brooklyn at ya.”
Explainer: When Khabib fought and beat Al Iaquinta for the Lightweight title at UFC 223, Conor was sitting in a cell in Brooklyn. McGregor is suggesting that he was able to watch the fight while in the ‘lockup’.
21:53 – “You tapped the bus window kid. You tapped the little stop that stops the bus. ‘Someone stop this bus’. I’ll tap your head off the canvas, kid.”
Explainer: McGregor’s rebuttal to Khabib referencing his loss to Nate Diaz in their first bout, due to submission.
22:25 – “Slap him. Do something you f*ckin fool ya. Ya backward c*nt. A salaam alaikum.”
Explainer: A reporter said ‘a salaam alaikum’ to Khabib, and then congratulated McGregor on his whiskey. Khabib took offence to the pairing of both whiskey and religion, to which McGregor challenged him to slap the journalist.
23:07 – “He’s a glass jaw. The Chechens, my Chechen friends…they told me that they have chicken jaws in Dagestan and I believe them because I know a glass jaw when I see one. I’ve seen this man wobble many times. I’ve seen his brother sparked unconscious in another promotion. I know he is afraid of a smack, and if you are afraid of a smack off me, a smack will feel like a double-barrel shotgun.”
Explainer: McGregor is once again leveraging the strength of his apparent contacts in both Chechnya and Russia in general. Khabib, from Dagestan, will have taken huge offence to this throwaway comment from McGregor about a terrible and bloodied history.
28:18 – “I just thank the Lord Jesus Christ that that man had not got the balls to step foot off that bus, because trust me…if that bus door had’ve opened, this man would be dead now. He would be in a box, and I would be in a cell.”
Explainer: McGregor again referencing Khabib’s refusal to step off the bus.
30:00 – “Smell of shite off your Da.”
Explainer: McGregor assuming the issue with faeces is a hereditary one.
30:22 – “The Chechen people know what I’m talking about when I call this man a ‘coward’ when I called his father a ‘quivering coward’. Him and Kadyrov were at a mosque together and he posted a picture of Kadyrov on his Instagram.
“Kadyrov is a Chechen dictator, a crazy man, don’t get me wrong, but Khabib’s father, ‘lick-arse, Lick-Arse O’F*ckin Hoolohan’ posted a picture of Kadyrov at this mosque and the caption is ‘together we are stronger’. It’s such fake respect out of fear.
“The Chechens know, the Chechen people know, that if the tables were turned and there was an opportunity for his father to stab that man in the back, he would do it in a heartbeat to take over and he did not do nothing. And that’s why he is a quivering coward because he showed fake respect out of fear.”
Explainer: Ramzan Kadyrov is the Head of the Chechen Republic. Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap, posted a picture of himself with the controversial leader on his Instagram. Kadyrov and his men, among other things, have been accused of rounding up and executing gay men. The people of Dagestan, home of the Nurmagomedovs, would have a chequered and difficult history with those of Chechnya, home to Kadyrov.
Here is the post from Khabib’s father, with Kadyrov on the right.
View this post on Instagram
Here is the post McGregor responded with:
32:29 – “Are you disrespecting your president, Vladimir Putin? Then what do you mean by that? Explain what you mean. Fake rat, like I said fake respect out of fear. It’s all these men are known for, they were chased from their land to the edge of cliffs. My family, my bloodline, the McGregor clan. We stood, we fought. We fought the English empire, so much so that our name was banished for 100 years by King James.”
Explainer: McGregor’s response when Khabib said he does not like getting photos with people after a question was posed on the topic of McGregor’s relationship with the Russian president. McGregor again refers to the history of Nurmagomedov’s troubled land, referring to the slaughter of the Dagestan people.
33:23 – “Gabh mo leithscéal, an bhfuil cead agam dul go dtí an leithreas ar an mbus? I can speak Irish mate. Do you know what that means? Can I have a sh*te on the bus?”
Explainer: When Khabib asks McGregor about speaking English and not Irish, McGregor’s retort comes in the form of a witty put-down in his native tongue. Translated as ‘Excuse me, may I have permission to go to the bathroom on the bus?’, McGregor’s razor-sharp wit again comes to the fore, this time referring to the bus incident in bilingual form.
You can watch the full press conference below.
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor meet for the UFC Lightweight title on October 6th in Las Vegas. Stay tuned to Pundit Arena for all your coverage.