Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz Get Into Scuffle At UFC 196 Pre-Fight Press Conference
UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz nearly came to blows on Thursday following the UFC 196 pre-fight press conference. During the face-off, Diaz put his fist in McGregor’s face, and the featherweight champ slapped it away, which led to security having to intervene.
Before the scuffle, which can be seen below, the words between the two at the press conference were nearly as heated as the face-off itself, as McGregor said that Diaz is a “scared little boy,” which Diaz replied to by saying that his JV-level training partners would pick McGregor apart inside the octagon.
Prior to Thursday’s press conference, McGregor and Diaz had some heated exchanges, as Diaz accused McGregor, and everyone else in the UFC, of steroid use, which really offended the current UFC featherweight champion.
“Steroids? Don’t be talking about steroids. Don’t be putting my name in steroids. I majored against that. Don’t put my name in with steroids, Nate. Your teammate Gil (Melendez) and Jake (Shields) were two caught on steroids. Not me. I’m not on no steroids. What the f**k are you talking about? Your two teammates were on steroids. Your two boys. The Skrap Pack. Remember that? What happened to them? Did you know they were taking that stuff? Did you?”
There’s been some debate about the weight class this fight is taking place in, which is welterweight. Diaz said that it was his idea to have this fight take place at 170 pounds, which McGregor refuted, saying that Diaz wanted to take place at 155 pounds, which was the weight that McGregor was scheduled to fight Rafael dos Anjos at.
McGregor says that the fight taking place at welterweight was his idea, and not Nate Diaz’s, and there’s a possiblity that, after this fight, McGregor will make a permanent move up to welterweight, and challenge Robbie Lawler, who is the division’s champion.
UFC president Dana White hinted that Robbie Lawler could be McGregor’s next opponent if he can get past Diaz this Saturday night.
“I’m open to whatever (Conor McGregor) is considering doing. I mean if he wants to fight at 170 and he wants to fight Robbie Lawler, Conor is tough to deny these days.”
There are some who are calling for McGregor to be punished for his actions during the face-off with Nate Diaz at Thursday’s press conference. UFC lightweight Eddie Alvarez said that Conor should be fined for “doing that p***y s**t.”
“Conor should be fined for striking an opponent before the actual fight. Not a Nate fan, but 20% is owed. P***y s**t. I’m all for a good stare-down, even pushing, but a punch anywhere before the ref warns both fighters is wrong on every level.”
As of right now, it doesn’t look like the Nevada State Athletic Commission will hit McGregor with a fine. What McGregor did wasn’t nearly as bad as what Anderson Silva did to Chael Sonnen during their face-off at the UFC 148 pre-fight weigh-ins, where Silva hit Sonnen in the face with a shoulder, which didn’t lead to “The Spider” getting fined. So, it’s unlikely that McGregor will be hit with a fine for slapping Diaz’s hand away.
The official weigh-ins for McGregor vs. Diaz take place on Friday, and you can bet there will be another heated stare-down, which could lead to yet another scuffle between the two fighters. The UFC will probably be better prepared for it this time around though, because they don’t want an all-out brawl to take place just 24-hours before one of their biggest fights of the year.
(Featured image via Brandon Magnus / Getty Images)