Khabib Nurmagomedov leaves conference before late Conor McGregor shows up

McGregor last fought in the UFC on November 12, 2016, defeating Eddie Alvarez to claim the UFC lightweight championship.

Several thousand pro-McGregor fans packed a theatre expecting to see a confrontation between two fighters who can't stand each other.

"I'm just here because I have to be here", Ferguson said as he started off the group interview.

"If somebody is late, this is not my problem".

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. "The traffic is a little heavy". You all know why you're here.

Earlier, Nurmagomedov had sat on the podium for 10 minutes waiting for McGregor to arrive before walking out.

"I have schedule. I have to make weight". I tried to get here. "I'm only a few minutes late for f--'s sake".

The public was admitted free to the event, and most of the crowd of about 2,000 was for McGregor, who suggested Nurmagomedov might have been intimidated by the surroundings. "I have to make weight", he said, leaving the stage with his belt aloft and to the booing of McGregor's supporters. "I'm ready for that".

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. I don't think about him. McGregor's 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo was one of the most impressive performances in MMA history, and even McGregor's recent loss to Nate Diaz wound up adding to his legend; after facing an absolutely wrong style matchup in their first fight, McGregor won the rematch in an exceptional example of fighting completely against type. Now there's a ruckus, they don't want to do 165 I'm like, "what the f*ck?"

"I think I'm going to turn him into a bobblehead if I'm honest", he told The Mac Life.

"Nurmagomedov's manager, Ali Abdelaziz, is a "[expletive] snitch terrorist rat", said McGregor. I'm going to aim right between that man's eyes and this is never over. I'm not going to wait. "Never, ever, ever, over".

Conor McGregor has gone from being a plumber in Dublin to arguably the most recognized prize fighter on the planet in less than a decade.

After falling just short in his latest conquest to defy the odds, a boxing match against undefeated legend of the squared circle Floyd Mayweather, fans and analysts alike now eagerly await to see what "Mystic Mac" has in store for us this time around at UFC 229.

But the drumbeat for a showdown between the outspoken former plumber from Dublin and Nurmagomedov intensified earlier this year when McGregor was at the centre of a extraordinary melee in NY in April.

  • Steve Townsend