The fact that Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz is only hours away and there has yet to be a serious incident between the pair, or their entourages, verges on miracle territory.
The combination of McGregor’s merciless trash-talking and Diaz’s bubbling volatility meant that many foresaw scenes of unsanctioned violence, but fortunately bloodshed has been avoided.
There have been threats and a couple of tense moments, however.
Foremost among them was the mesmerizing final presser face-off, during which McGregor slapped or, perhaps, punched the outstretched hand of his opponent. Only for the timely intervention of many UFC employees, the melee may have erupted into something far more serious.
It wasn’t until after the media event though, that it became apparent just how close to boiling point things had gotten.
Footage released by entertainment news outlet TMZ shows that McGregor spent time taunting Diaz teammate and former UFC welterweight title challenger Jake Shields, as well as another member of the opposing team, just prior to meeting the Stockton native centre-stage.
“What the f**k are you looking at? I’d strangle you in a heartbeat. And you as well, you little juice-head[referring to Shields],” said McGregor.
Shields was so worked up afterwards that he told members of the media that he would be willing to fight McGregor on the street(BloodyElbow).
Before he walked out for the face-off, Diaz was given a message by his brother Nick.“If he f**king even touches you, it’s on,” said the UFC, Pride FC, Elite XC and Strikeforce veteran.
Out of action since January 2015 due to a suspension, maybe the elder Diaz was just itching for a scrap. He might have a chance to get his hands on McGregor at some stage in the near future, as the SBG fighter stated in a recent interview that a fight between the pair is “inevitable”.
You can watch the footage from the press conference below….
Given that some of Diaz’s team were involved in a famous post-fight brawl at a Strikeforce event back in 2010, it may be too soon to assume that the possibility of trouble has passed.