Mixed Martial Arts: Tardy McGregor angers Nurmagomedov ahead of showdown

Tanya Simon
October 7, 2018

The turnaround from fight announcement to actual fight has been quick, but the Conor McGregor- Khabib Nurmagomedov headliner has been teased for years, culminating in McGregor's infamous bus attack at UFC 223. "I have to make weight", he said, leaving the stage with his belt aloft and to the booing of McGregor's supporters.

Despite UFC president Dana White insisting McGregor was in a vehicle on his way to the Park Theatre in Las Vegas, Nurmagomedov didn't want to hang around.

McGregor has made a habit of arriving late to scheduled events during his UFC career and continued it at by turning up on his own time to a press conference in NY last month.

Sit back and enjoy, folks! "I have to make weight".

But we aren't talking about "any other fighter" here, we are talking about Conor McGregor. I have a schedule.

McGregor turned up nearly 25 minutes late for the media conference, about 10 minutes after the Russian champion had left the stage. This fight will go into history as the biggest grudge match in combat sports, and will most likely be the biggest MMA event of all time.

Shortly afterwards, even they were getting impatient, chanting "where is Conor?" as White took questions from the crowd to fill in the time.

This is the moment McGregor turned up late, complete with vest and cap, as well as giving his prediction for the bout and more.

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I think he's a tremendous player but I don't think you should try to get other pros sent off. Of course, it was a hard day with the weather and everything and it's not easy.

"This one was not how we planned it to go down but, at the end of the day, with McGregor and all the mental warfare games going on, there's the counter to it right there", White said. (But) I did not plan this, I tried to get here.

"There will never be peace here", McGregor said. "I am starving for this man's head".

Nurmagomedov was given a hostile reception by the mainly pro-McGregor crowd at Wednesday's open workout. "I don't think about him".

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.

White hinted that UFC 229 could eclipse two million pay-per-view buys, which would put the card in special company.

"My heart is black towards this man, towards his team, towards his people, I can truly see the inside of that man's head and smile".

Once again, many fans and analysts (myself included) believed that the longtime Brazilian champion, Aldo, would simply be too much for the bold young Irishman.

Nurmagomedov had already left the Park Theatre in Las Vegas before McGregor arrived around half an hour late for the pair's final media availability ahead of Sunday's lightweight championship fight.

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