The event in the center of the capital expectedly caused a stir. Long before the start, a huge crowd lined up at the Central Telegraph building, most of which were McGregor fans. They were not even stopped by the fact that the press conference was closed to fans, and only media representatives and well-known bloggers could get to it. As a result, in order to ensure law and order, a police squad arrived.
Among other things, security officers kept in mind the fact that an unforeseen conflict could occur at the event itself due to the difficult relationship between McGregor and Nurmagomedov. Athletes have repeatedly called each other to account, and last week they staged a hard skirmish on social networks. However, representatives of the current UFC lightweight champion said that Habib is currently outside the capital.
The press conference itself began with a substantial delay. Initially, she was scheduled for 10:30, but the Irishman appeared in the hall only two hours later. While the press was waiting for McGregor, the organizers managed to change the scenery. If the day before in Kiev, the athlete had a conversation with reporters sitting on the couch, then this time he was sitting at the table.
True, the change of scenery to a more official did not bother McGregor at all. He behaved extremely liberally and without hesitation answered the questions of the leading Maria Command. So, the Irishman began with a story about his first visit to Moscow and a meeting with the President of Russia.
“The first time I visited Moscow in the summer of 2018, when Vladimir Putin invited me to a match of the World Cup. Few know that it was to him that I handed the first bottle of my whiskey. I handed it over to the guards, who were supposed to check whether the drink was safe to drink and if there was any poison there. From that moment I had no opportunity to talk with him, but I’m sure that he will definitely like him, ”the Irishman said.
Having shared his impressions of Russia a little, McGregor turned to the main topics of the press conference. One of them was the athlete's return to the octagon. In Kiev, the Irishman refused to reveal the cards, but in Moscow he named both the date and place of his next fight in the UFC.
“McGregor’s return will take place on January 18 in Las Vegas. I am in excellent physical shape. This date is agreed with the UFC. I know the name of my future rival, but better ask the promotion. I don't care who goes against me. Everything will take place in 12 weeks, ”said McGregor.
The last time an Irishman entered the octagon in October 2018 was at the UFC 229 tournament. Then McGregor lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov in the fight for the lightweight champion title, after which he actively sought revenge. But judging by his words, at the moment this is not his main goal.
“Then I will try to arrange a meeting with the winner of the battle between Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal. And after that I want to fight with the victor of the fight Khabib Nurmagomedov - Tony Ferguson. I don’t know who will get the upper hand, but I want this fight to be held here in Moscow, ”the Irishman admitted.
According to him, Russia deserved a tournament of this level and admitted that it would be a great honor for him to perform in the capital. Among other things, he made a comparison between a possible duel in Moscow and the plot of the movie "Rocky", in which the hero of Sylvester Stallone fought in the USSR with Ivan Drago.
After that, MacGregor once again demonstrated his hostility towards Nurmagomedov and began to rudely insult the current UFC lightweight champion. So, he once again called his former opponent a coward and said that he basically does not go into the octagon with the flag of the country.
“I have not met a person who would represent Russia with the same pride as I am with Ireland. His own father wants him to raise the flag, but he has a different opinion. He nearly died trying to lose weight. Nurmagomedov is afraid to take risks, and such fighters cannot count on a long career. All Russians know that Dagestanis are always running away, ”the ex-champion said.
At the same time, he expressed confidence that in Moscow he would not have problems with Habib fans.
“I don't see anyone here. They are not so stupid and have learned from past mistakes. I do not expect conflicts. If anything, I am at the Ritz-Carlton. Look, I’m flying to Moscow, and he, on the contrary, is leaving her. Typical Dagestan, ”continued MacGregor's taunting series.
In light of the tensions between the two athletes and Conor’s desire for a rematch with Habib, many expected MacGregor to appear at the UFC 242 tournament in Abu Dhabi. However, the ex-champion in two weight categories ignored this event.
“I have already met with Dustin (Porrier. - RT ). His fight with Habib? Why should I come there? A person sniffs the cowards of his rivals and earn money on this. If you want to know how my ass smells, ask Nurmagomedov, ”the athlete said.
To complete the theme of Habib, the Irishman admitted that his conflict with the Russian is far from over, and finally made another rude statement.
“I would not fly to Dagestan, even if I had to go to the toilet,” concluded McGregor.
The press conference of the ex-UFC champion in Moscow was remembered not only by his words about Nurmagomedov. So, in addition to the usual questions, McGregor received suggestions to take a selfie and even duel the views. But if the first request was granted, the organizers rejected the second.
McGregor answered almost all the questions of the journalists, with the exception of one. So, the host refused to ask the fighter about the rape of a 20-year-old girl in Dublin. As reported in the American media, currently in Ireland there is an investigation into this incident, but the athlete side in every way denies his involvement.
But the Irishman expressed his opinion regarding the future battle between the fighter Alexander Emelianenko and powerlifter Mikhail Koklyaev. He admitted that he was not aware of the organization of the fight, but assured him that he was interested in such duels.
“This is what the audience wants to see. People who take risks. It's great to watch this. Let's see what happens, ”the fighter said.
At the end of the press conference, McGregor called the fight with Chad Mendes the most significant in his career in mixed martial arts, and also promised to support the Russian national football team at the 2020 European Championship.
“I still remain a fan. I was very flattered that I was invited here to the mundial. Of course, I will follow and support the Russian team at the upcoming European Championship. But I will root for the Irish team, ”concluded MacGregor.