Just when things were starting to get quiet, a UFC 205 media call on Thursday reignited a war of words between Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez, just over a week before the two are set to meet inside the octagon.
The featherweight champion is on the cusp of becoming the first fighter in the promotion’s history to hold two division titles simultaneously, and like many of McGregor’s prior bouts, the pre-fight promotional work is just another opportunity to get inside the head of his opponent.
As expected, McGregor delivered a cascade of one-liners and predictions in an attempt to antagonise Alvarez, including an audacious claim he’ll retire the Philadelphian after over 13 years in the sport.
“I’m going to retire him on this night,” McGregor said during the media call (via MMAJunkie).
“He has been through a hell of a lot of wars. He has been dropped continuously. I can see it in him. You can see the effects of war on his face. Respect to him, he’s a fighter, nothing but respect. But this will be it for you.
“You’re going to be badly, badly hurt Eddie, and I mean that. It’s over for you. You will not fight again after this. You will not look the same, you will not think the same, and that’s it.”
Alvarez, to his credit, has yet to show any indication that the brash Dubliner is inside his head, unlike the Irishman’s previous opponents.
Instead, the 32-year-old has gone on the offensive by calling McGregor out on the fighters he’s faced in the past and stating that he never felt so unthreatened by a person during their first media stare-down last month.
With Alvarez putting up a good guard, McGregor used the media call to reiterate why everything he’s predicted shouldn’t be taken with a pinch of salt and that his promise to retire the fighter isn’t just a statement of confidence.
“I’m going to toy with this man,” McGregor said.
“I’m going to really, truly rearrange his facial structure. His wife and kids won’t ever recognize him again. His friends and the people that he knows will know that he’s not the same man after this contest. He’s going to be in a shock when he sees that. They’re about to see your final hurrah.
“I paint many pictures. I can fight in many different ways, and I will. I’m going to paint many different pictures in this contest and put on a showcase, toy with this man and end it all. End his whole career. Retire him. It’s over for him. He should be done anyway. He’s taken too much damage. This will be his last amount of damage that he will be able to take.”
The slander-spewing contest is only a small taste of what lies ahead, with another media day for the event scheduled for November 9th, with the pre-fight press conference and official weigh-ins to follow.
Furthermore, another two title fights will feature on the main card next weekend, with a welterweight title fight between TyronWoodleyy and Stephen Thompson in the co-main event slot, and another women’s strawweight title defence for Joanna Jędrzejczyk against Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
UFC 205 takes place on November 12th at Madison Square Garden arena in New York.
James McDonald, Pundit Arena
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