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Urijah Faber admits Conor McGregor confrontation 'does look like it was rigged'

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Esther Lin/Sportsfile

Urijah Faber understands why some have come to the conclusion that his brief skirmish with Conor McGregor was put together for the benefit of the cameras.

After all, it was a FOX camera which caught the drama backstage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in the leadup to Friday's UFC 189 weigh-ins, and it just happens to turn out that Faber and McGregor were announced Sunday as the coaches of The Ultimate Fighter 22, which will air on FOX Sports 1.

"It does look like it was rigged," Faber said on Tuesday's edition of The MMA Hour. "I was thinking the same thing. It was super weird in general, but it is what it is."

But Faber says the brief flare-up was just a freak occurrence due to a chain of events that kicked off by, of all things, a line to get into the bathroom backstage.

"I was in the hallway backstage and there was one men's bathroom with one toilet, one sink, you know, everything else, and there's a female one, so I'm waiting in line and there's a guy behind me who was like ‘you should check the girls,' cuz there's a lot more guys backstage at UFC than there are girls. And I said no, I'll check into it if you watch the door for me. So I go into the bathroom, I told this guy, I'll go pee real quick, I'll be right out, just make sure if anyone comes they know I'm in there."

Faber, it turns out, wasn't the only one looking to get around the men's room line.

"So I'm washing my hands and someone goes and tries to shake the knob, so I open the door, and it was someone trying to open the door for Conor, and as I'm walking out he's walking and  we're nose to nose. It was super random, wasn't in anyone's locker room or anything like that, we were just in a hallway and it so happens that we get face to face, and the guy looks like he was gonna die, it was crazy."

From there, things went from horseplay to heated in a hurry.

"He's like, ‘what's up little man' and he rubs my head and I grabbed his stomach and was feeling his ribs, his scrawny little rib," Faber said. "And I was like ‘man, are you gonna survive?' I don't know what he's thinking, he went, like an armdrag to a double, I mean, he was doing a move and I just had the instinct to turn back do a little wrestling, so I redrag hold both his arms because I don't know what he's thinking. So I hold both his arms against the wall, I don't know if he's going to use his chin or what's in his head, he goes "get your f------ hands off me," I'm like, dude, I don't have my hands on you, motherf------.'

Ultimately, cooler heads prevailed and the duo went their separate ways just as soon as things had flared up.

"He just walked away and went to the bathroom, then I just walked away too," Faber said. "It was kind of confusing, it wasn't like a real altercation. I don't think he was trying to go for a massive takedown right before weigh-ins. I don't know where it got heated a little bit."

UFC 189: Post-fight press conference