Conor McGregor returns to the octagon for the first time in over two years on Saturday - or early Sunday morning if you're watching in Britain - in a UFC lightweight title fight against Russia's Khabib Nurmagomedov.
McGregor is 2-2 in his last four fights - including the boxing match against Mayweather - and just how big any future paydays will be will largely depend on how he does against Nurmagomedov, the Russian who used to wrestle bears as a youth and who has not lost in 26 MMA fights. (But) I did not plan this, I tried to get here. So as for those two true outcomes, it looks like either McGregor knocks out Nurmagomedov in short order, or the Russian gets the fight to the ground and dominates for as long as he wants to. For me, it's more than fight for the title, more than main event. It's a credit to McGregor's status as an all-time great that even against a dominant champion I'd give him a 40 percent or so shot of scoring a first-round knockout here. With the championship fight now just days away, Khabib is still predicted to retain but his odds have dropped to -160, while Conor is now a +150 underdog.
The final Conor McGregor-Khabib Nurmagoedov press conference has descended into foul-mouthed anarchy, with the fiery Irishman laying into his undefeated opponent, who left the podium before McGregor had even arrived.
The incident was an apparent retaliation to McGregor's friend and training partner Artem Lobov having an alleged confrontation with Nurmagomedov.
Screenshot of UFC Video Conor McGregor throwing an object at a bus filled with UFC fighters at the Barclays Center in NY. "I'm going to take his head off", he said to the crowd, throwing in a few more choice words for the record. "I am coming to put a hole in this man's skull". F-- peace. There will never be peace here.
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"I could go into heavy detail. and I will! Never, ever, ever, over".
Nurmagomedov, who is 26-0 and making the first defence of his title on Sunday, believes he's ability to stay composed in the face of McGregor's wild taunting has the former champ anxious. Right when the clock struck 3 p.m., Nurmagomedov walked across the stage at Park Theater in Park MGM Las Vegas to begin the scheduled press conference. For me, it's personal.
"The Eagle" has gone a ideal 26-0 in his mixed martial arts career and now stands as a slight betting favorite to defeat Conor McGregor this Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. This is 3pm, the fans are here, media are here, everybody is here. "If somebody is late that's his problem". Why I have to worry about him?
"How do I come here if I don't believe in myself?"