Conor McGregor was fashionably late to the UFC 205 pre-fight press conference on Thursday, something that has become customary in recent months.
Not surprisingly, “The Notorious” one, decked out in a mink coat, red shirt and what resembled pajama paints, showed no remorse for his tardiness, even though his absence prompted opponent Eddie Alvarez to briefly leave the press conference dais until McGregor arrived.
“I operate on my own time,” McGregor said. “And I’m running early on my time.”
Nor did McGregor seem to care when informed that Alvarez said that he was “disappointed in the country of Ireland.”
“I don’t give a f—k what Eddie says. Who gives a f—k? The Irish are back,” McGregor said. “The Irish run the town of New York City. I’m a f—-ing pimp in a Gucci mink.”
The entire scene was a circus-like atmosphere while it lasted. A boisterous Irish contingent cheered McGregor’s every action and jeered Alvarez when he was called upon to speak. McGregor snatched Alvarez’s belt when he hit the stage, but the champion quickly returned from backstage and grabbed McGregor’s hardware and put it beside him. Alvarez then dropped a chair near McGregor, which prompted a brief altercation in which MSG security nearly had to carry the Irishman off the stage after he picked the chair and waved it menacingly at the Bellator veteran.
“I wonder how much the chair would’ve cost me,” McGregor quipped, referencing the $150,000 fine he received for throwing water bottles and an energy drink can at Nate Diaz during a UFC 202 pre-fight press conference.
Nobody involved would comment on whether the whole scene was contrived or genuine when asked by a member of the media in attendance.
Meanwhile, Dana White didn’t seem bothered by the chaos that ensued due to McGregor’s lateness. The UFC president was too busy reveling in the anticipation building toward the promotion’s New York debut.
“I’m in such a good mood for this event, it is what it is,” White said.
“Madison Square Garden is probably the most famous arena on earth. When this goes down on Saturday night and the fans are walking in and the fights start happening, it’s gonna be awesome.”
McGregor will attempt to become the first person in UFC history to become a simultaneous two-division title-holder, a feat he claims will “immortalize” him. The SBG Ireland representative remains confident that Alvarez will not hold up against his offense.
“I predict I rearrange his face. He’s too easy to hit. Through all the talk and everything else, he can be hit too easily,” McGregor said. “It’s happened throughout his career. Maybe if his toughness holds up he’ll survive, but then his face will begin to be rearranged.”
Alvarez is coming off one of the best performances of his career, a first-round stoppage of Rafael dos Anjos to claim lightweight gold at UFC Fight Night 90 in July. Still, McGregor believes the wear-and-tear of 32 professional bouts will take its toll on Alvarez when they square off on Saturday night.
“I feel he’s damaged goods. Looking at him he’s aged, he looks a bit gone,” McGregor said. “At the end of the day we go in ther eand fight, and the shots will land regardless of whether he’s feeling good or bad. My shots will do damage.”