Screenshot: Youtube.

The Much Anticipated Press Conference Between Conor McGregor And Khabib Nurmagamedov is Now Over… And it Went More or Less How People Expected…

Now, this was interesting. We finally got what we all wanted: the chance to see Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagamedov in the same room. They engaged with each other furiously and finally faced off, with tension ebbing across Radio City Music Hall. The last time they were in New York at the same time, it ended with McGregor in a jail cell, so this was exciting.

UFC 229 has been curiously underpromoted by the standard of a regular McGregor fight. In the past, when he has fought the likes of Jose Aldo and Floyd Mayweather, he’s gone on massive world tours to sell the event. This time his comeback is all that’s needed. Who else could have had a screen in New York’s Times Square dedicated to an official viewing party?

Whether or not he won the psychological battle this time around will, of course, be hotly debated. What is certain is that this was a much more aggressive McGregor, more wrapped up in his own self-importance, with more emphasis on crude insults than clever wit. His final words were to Khabib Nurmagamedov’s manager: “Don’t talk to the King.” The king has a long way to fall.

The King

McGregor was incredibly arrogant and domineering the entire way through the press conference. That’s not necessarily a criticism, but it does show his evolution. He continued to shout over Khabib and targeted the Russian’s family and politics on a few occasions. He said:

“His own people want him gone and I’m going to do it in the name of the Russian people.”

There’s no doubt that McGregor has massive popularity in Russia, and had pictures taken with Vladimir Putin at the World Cup Final, where he was an invited guest of the Russian president. This one definitely stung Khabib.


‘The Notorious’ also targeted Khabib’s father Abdulmanap on a number of occasions. He went in particularly hard on his alleged relationship to Ramzan Kadyrov, the warlord dictator of Chechnya. McGregor lacked class when he told Khabib that his father ‘smells like s**t,” but what came after was much better.

The Notorious also took a lot of time to promote his own business ventures, including his own clothing range – August McGregor – as well as his new whiskey Proper Twelve.

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Khabib had his own moments. His entire demeanor was ice-cold the entire way through the press conference. He genuinely sounded bemused when he said:

“I don’t understand what he’s going to do… He thinks whiskey is going to help him? I don’t understand.”

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However, McGregor had the definite advantage because the conference was in his native language. We know that he’s silver-tongued and quick to respond. When Nurmagamedov said he would make the Irishman tap, the Notorious responded:

“You tapped the bus window kid.”

It got even more so. The lack of a crowd was genuinely perplexing and took away from the energy that McGregor was exuding. However, you can understand the security worries on the part of the UFC. Perhaps the single most stimulating bit was when McGregor chillingly said:

“I just thank the Lord that the bus door did not open. If it did, this man would be dead right now. He would be in a box and I would be in a cell, and we would not have this great cell right now.”

It was that sort of event.

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