Conor McGregor surely delivered in his UFC 229 press conference with Khabib Nurmagomedov, but not before he took aim at the UFC in a savage spray.
The fiery Irishman blasted the UFC for not allowing fans into the closed press conference, which they had prohibited the public from entering.
Perhaps it was an attempt to avoid the bottle-throwing fiasco that unfolded in the McGregor-Diaz conference for UFC 202 – but it created an utterly bizarre atmosphere.
McGregor’s request for the UFC to allow fan access prior to the event was not addressed, and he unloaded.
“If I was an owner and I was part of the promotion, I would have had f***ing fans in this arena. Where are the fans at?” McGregor said.
“I’m on probation up to me eyeballs and have ongoing and incoming civil cases — and I come here to do this bulls***?
“Bring the f***ing fans here. You wanted a war? Well here we f***ing are.
“They’re the ones who pay the bills and they’re the ones who deserve this show. (You) bring me all over the f***ing world and we’re just sitting here.”
The 30-year-old defied the wishes of the UFC by publicly announcing the press conference was open to the fans on Twitter.
The press conference will be open to the public.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 18, 2018
The ticket for entry is a bottle of @ProperWhiskey.
2 bottles and you skip the Q to the top.
My soldiers will be outside making sure this rule is strictly adhered to.
Radio city Hall. UFC 229 Press conference.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 19, 2018
McGregor wasn’t the only one to address the issue either, with fans and viewers watching the live-stream also slamming the decision.
This is bizarre. Cathedral quiet when there's usually riotous cheers whenever Conor speaks.
— Chuck Mindenhall (@ChuckMindenhall) September 20, 2018
— Ryan Connor (@RyanConnor02) September 20, 2018
it was okay, but no fans made it pretty awkward. it was a mcgregor show of course, just like we expected. you can tell khabib was triggered by some of the stuff he said. can’t wait for october 6 👊🏽👊🏽
— noname (@Twaunkills) September 20, 2018
— Mohamed Elmi (@MohamedElmi1994) September 20, 2018
McGregor did hit in one thing though. #UFC229 presser should've included the fans. Lack of fans highlighted McGregor's manic energy & gave him nothing to play off. Also poor job by the media asking questions, came off like fans in most cases.
— Reynolds (@IamReynolds2305) September 20, 2018
What unfolded thereafter was a press conference that was full of McGregor’s classic one-liners, with no atmosphere to respond to them.
McGregor spent much of it intimidating and threatening Khabib, not letting the Russian get a word in for majority of it.
It’s the first time the two have come face-to-face since the infamous bus attack initiated by McGregor in New York, which he is now facing charges over.
The blockbuster bout is set to be the highest selling pay-per-view fight in UFC history, taking place on October 7 (AEST).