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Fabricio Werdum: I would have slapped Conor McGregor at UFC 197 press conference


LOS ANGELES -- Conor McGregor won the UFC featherweight championship, will fight for the lightweight championship in March, and has already started talking about challenging for the welterweight title.

But if he keeps yapping about Kings MMA, he might find himself in the crosshairs of a heavyweight.

UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum was among those watching Wednesday's UFC 197 press conference in Las Vegas, which promoted the March 6 fight between McGregor and lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos.

McGregor repeatedly insulted the soft-spoken dos Anjos, Werdum's teammate at Kings MMA in Huntington Beach, Calif. And the heavyweight champ, who was in Los Angeles on Thursday promoting his UFC 196 title rematch with Cain Velasquez, didn't take too kindly to his words.

"When have a fight with my friend, you have a fight with me, too," Werdum said. "We're a family. If you say something bad, you pay for this for sure."

Werdum took particular exception to McGregor's habit of talking over dos Anjos when the lightweight champ was asked questions by reporters during the press conference, and by his demeanor in the staredown photo-op.

The heavyweight champ insinuated he would throw his water in McGregor's face and slap him if McGregor ever attempted to try something like that with him.

"When [reporters] had a question for Rafael and he talked over him, this is no good," Werudm said. "If it was my opponent, I would do this [Werdum makes a gesture like throwing water in his face, then makes a slapping sound], I'd say ‘be quiet.' But that's not Rafael's personality. He's a smart guy, okay, he controls himself, he just thinks about the fight."

If anyone has earned the right to talk trash, it's Werdum, a multi-time world jiu-jitsu championship gold medalist who also ended Fedor Emelianenko's win streak and made a run all the way to the UFC heavyweight title. But he's not about to go that route.

"It's very important to respect," Werdum said. "You have your space, I have my space. We have a fight, why do you touch me before. I thought Conor McGregor wasn't showing respect. It's not good. If he does it to me, he has a big problem. It think it's very important he respects my space and I respect his space."

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