Yesterday at the UFC 202 pre-fight press conference, all hell broke loose when Nate Diaz and his team exited early after a late arrival from Conor McGregor. When Diaz began leaving, McGregor got upset and the two exchanged heated words, leading to McGregor and Diaz’s team members throwing water bottles and energy drink cans at each other across the theater. The tense moment caused Dana White to abruptly end the press conference.
In the aftermath, both Diaz and McGregor both responded to the dust up, as did fightersand pundits. Suddenly, everyone was talking enthusiastically about a card that had been receiving less buzz than expected. Among those people was Richard Perez, Nate Diaz’s boxing coach, who spoke with Submission Radio shortly after the brouhaha, calling out McGregor for his behavior and lack of punctuality. (transcribed by Bloody Elbow)
“I think he did that just to do it, you know, to try and get on Nathan’s nerves - but it didn’t happen. What happened was, he came in late all cocky, started talking. So Nathan said, okay, he came late, I’m cutting, I’m booking. So McGregor didn’t like it and was speechless and caught him off guard and that made him mad.
“I thought [Nate] did the right thing, just to walk out and got on McGregor’s nerves. He didn’t like it. He didn’t know how to handle it. So acted like a little kid and started throwing bottles - which he shouldn’t have, but Nathan got to him.”
This isn’t the first time the two camps have gotten into pre-fight extracurricular activities. During the face-off at the pre-fight press conference for UFC 196, McGregor slapped Diaz’s extended hand and a brawl almost broke out among the two. And for what it’s worth, it appears that this time it was a member of Diaz’s camp that threw the first bottle.
The convenient timing of the altercation led many to wonder if this was all staged as a promotional gimmick to boost interest in the card. In the interview, Perez also addressed this speculation, refuting that it was premeditated. (Also transcribed by Bloody Elbow)
“It was a spontaneous thing. It wasn’t planned at all. McGregor, I guess he thinks he’s the king and can come in when he wants. Nathan was sitting just there talking, he didn’t care. And then when he came in, then he just said, you know what, it’s my turn to leave.”
And while he was on the topic of dispelling false notions, Perez also refuted the claims from McGregor that Nate Diaz was cutting from 200 lbs. to make the 170 lb. weight limit.
“He’s not 200 pounds. What happened was, he sparred some guys and he hits really hard, but he was like 179-176 (pounds), something like that – and they just said he hit like a 200-pounder. But he wasn’t 200 pounds. Never. Not even close. I think right now he said he was 172.”
As for why McGregor got so testy about Diaz’s leaving the presser, Perez says it is because he is going to lose on Saturday, and that the talk of Conor winning and forcing a trilogy fight is just to build himself up.
“No. McGregor won’t do it. He won’t do it. No way. He’s just saying that right now because he’s in front of the media. He has to say something positive about himself, but it’s not gonna happen.”
McGregor and Diaz rematch at UFC 202 this Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Chaos. Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz threw bottles and cans at each other during the UFC 202 pre-fight press conference.
Response. Conor McGregor responds to the chaotic scene at the UFC 202 press conference.
2 sides. Nate Diaz gives his response to the UFC 202 press conference kerfuffle.
Respect. Dana White explains why he started the UFC 202 press conference without Conor McGregor.
401K. Conor McGregor says he retired “for a day” during the UFC 200 fiasco.
EXTRA CREDIT READING
Glover. Nick Yidiaris wrote this about Glover Teixeira right before his UFC debut. I was reminded of it recently and feel like it should get more love. Check it out.
The team doing a reaction for the big day.
Embedded featuring weigh-in craziness.