There were chaotic scenes at today’s UFC 202 pre-fight press conference at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas as headliners Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz hurled bottles across the room at each other.
15 minutes earlier the presser had started in underwhelming fashion, with McGregor nowhere to be seen. As has become almost customary in recent times, the Irishman had decided to turn up fashionably late, but Dana White was having none of it and had decided to start without him.
With the mics also acting up, that led to a real lack of energy up on stage as White quickly shut down any talk about McGregor’s tardiness, while Nate Diaz, Anthony Johnson and Glover Teixeira didn’t have a whole lot to say.
Finally, McGregor did arrive and the presser crackled to life. However, no-one could have forseen what was going to happen next.
As McGregor fielded a question about whether he would fight Diaz for a third time (he indicated he had “other business” to attend to first), his opponent suddenly got up and walked off the stage for reasons that aren’t entirely clear.
Diaz, his brother Nick began shouting at McGregor as they walked up to a balcony section at the far-end of the room with other members of their entourage, heading for an exit.
“F*ck your whole team, how about that?” Diaz could be heard saying as he gave McGregor the one-finger salute.
“Shut your f*ckin’ mouth, you’ll do nothing!” McGregor yelled at him on the mic. “You’ll do f*cking nothing. Not one of you’se will do nothing. Get the f*ck out of here!”
From high up on the balcony Diaz then launched a bottle of water at McGregor below, but ‘The Notorious’ immediately launched a bottle of his own back at them, and despite pleas from the nearby Dana White he then started frantically grabbing other bottles and even what appeared to be a Monster Energy can from the press conference table and hurled them up at his rival as well.
Nick Diaz and Jake Shields also got involved in the bottle throwing antics until panicked UFC officials moved in to stop McGregor from escalating the situation further.
Dana White briefly spoke to McGregor and ordered him backstage, before heading to the mic, quickly apologizing and prematurely ending the presser.
It’ll be interesting to see how the UFC deals with this situation and if anyone is punished for their actions, particularly given that bottles and cans were being thrown into a crowd full of media and fans.