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Dana White explains why he started UFC 202 press conference without Conor McGregor

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

LAS VEGAS -- The launch to UFC 202 fight week started with a familiar sight.

With their Aug. 20 rematch looming, Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz were supposed to kick off the UFC 202 festivities at a press conference Wednesday inside the Copperfield Theatre at 1:00 p.m. PT. But as has become a McGregor tradition, that start time came and went with the UFC featherweight champion nowhere to be found.

Rather than wait for McGregor's presence though, the UFC started the press conference without him.

"He has to start respect people's time, man," said a visibly agitated UFC president Dana White. "Yours, theirs, mine, [the other fighters'], David Copperfield's, everybody's. We have only so much time in this room.

"We're having a press conference here. If it's over before he gets here, then it's over."

McGregor ultimately showed up close to 1:30 p.m., approximately a half-hour after the scheduled start time and nearly 20 minutes after Diaz arrived. Still, the "The Notorious" seemed unbothered by the UFC's decision to start the proceedings without him.

"I thought it was at half-one," McGregor said. "I was told it was half-one. Vegas traffic is heavy as well this time of year. I don't know, there must be a McGregor show going on because the place is packed out.

"These f*cking press conferences, I've made these press conferences," McGregor added. "I've helped shape what this is, and then also they've got me f*cking kicked off cards before, so look, I'm just happy to be here. I'm ready to fight. That's all I know. Cut all the bullsh*t, I'm here, I'm ready to fight. You know you're going to get a fight when I'm here. You know it's going to be a show, so forget all of this other crap and this timekeeping and other stuff. I'm here."

In the end, McGregor's attendance was short-lived but memorable.

Diaz stormed out of the press conference just minutes after the Irishman arrived. He and his team then ignited a chaotic scene that saw both they and McGregor hurl water bottles and energy drinks at one another across the venue, bringing the press conference to an early conclusion.

Before the afternoon erupted into craziness though, Diaz was asked whether he cared about McGregor's absence. And not surprisingly, he shrugged off the situation with his trademark smirk.

"Nah, I'm don't care," Diaz said. "It's rude."

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