People had bemoaned the lack of fireworks in the build-up to Conor McGregor’s welterweight rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 202, but at Wednesday’s pre-fight press conference the fuse was finally lit.
Things got off to an interesting start, when UFC president Dana White, Nate Diaz, Anthony Johnson and Glover Teixeira made their way onto the stage, but without any sign of Conor McGregor. His absence immediately drew questions from the media. Questions that got short, irritated responses from White.
“We are starting without him,” said White. “He has to start respecting people’s time man”.
When McGregor finally did make an appearance, he made light of his tardiness.
“I thought it was [at]half one,” said the Irishman. “I was told half one. Vegas traffic is heavy this time of year, there must be a McGregor show going on because the place is packed out.”
“These fucking press conferences have helped shape what this is and then also they have almost got me…they have got me kicked off cards before. Look, I’m just happy to be here. I’m ready to fight, that’s all I know. Cut all the bullshit. You kn0w you’re going to get a fight when I’m here. You know it’s going to be a show, so forget all this other crap – this time keeping. I’m here.”
Not long after that, either irked by one of McGregor’s remarks or his lateness, or perhaps just sick of the conference in general, Diaz decided to make an expletive laden march toward the exit. As he went, ‘The Notorious’ one shouted “Get the fuck out of here” over the microphone. Diaz’s response was to sling a water bottle toward the stage. The featherweight champ returned fire in kind, tossing several bottles at the Stockton native and his entourage.
All the while, White could be heard pleading with Conor not to retaliate, but to no avail.
White could then be heard saying “That’s a wrap” and telling a member of the security staff to “get him[McGregor] out of here.”
Pundit Arena’s own own Brian Barry was on the ground(just a turn of phrase, he wasn’t hit by a flying bottle) and he caught this incredible footage of the incident.