The heat of high summer makes for strange times in the desert. Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz worked out for the Las Vegas masses last night ahead of their UFC 202 rematch on the Strip this weekend - a fight that’s still struggling to reach the buzz of their first meeting in March.
In spite of a chaotic bust-up between the pair 24 hours earlier, which grabbed much-needed attention in the close August-Olympics air, ticket sales for morrow night’s get-together were on the sluggish side of slow. The gleaming new T-Mobile Arena in Sin City was reportedly showing over 80 per cent availability for McGregor’s fourth fight in Sin City in just over a year.
There was still no sign of any repercussions over Wednesday’s farcical press conference exchange between the pair when McGregor and Diaz’s respective camps hurled bottle and cans at each other in the David Copperfield Theatre.
No on was hurt in the all-too public mini riot but footage did show McGregor hurling two full aluminium energy drink cans through the air at Diaz’s entourage. The Nevada State Athletic Commission confirmed they were looking into Wednesday’s chaotic scene, more wannabe street warriors than mixed martial artists. But no fines were immediately forthcoming, “I was scared for my life,” McGregor said in the aftermath, with tongue firmly in cheek. “I just hope everything is left. I hope I don’t hear about it. That’s what I’m thinking. We’re ready to fight. We’re prepared to fight.”
McGregor was asked if anyone in his own entourage had been hurt from the wave of bottles that came the other way, Diaz seeming to lob the first one.
“We’re absolutely brand new. It was handbags,” McGregor insisted. “If they want to fight, let’s fight. I just saw bottles being thrown. I was like, ‘Right, f**k that. You want to start throwing bottles, I’ll throw cans’. But it was all in self-defence.”
The sport’s trash talking king had again been late for Wednesday’s press conference and in his early absence, the Californian had ridiculed him. When asked about McGregor’s predictions of a second-round knockout, Diaz drawled: “that’s what he said last time”.
“He’s got a lot of people around him and he’s trying pumping himself up,” said the 31-year-old. “He’s either lying to himself, about his confidence or trying to make himself believe. He remembers what happened in the last fight.
“I think it’s a little silly.”
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