Boy, that escalated quickly.
Yesterday at the UFC 202 pre-fight press conference, all hell broke loose when Nate Diaz and his team exited early after a late arrival from Conor McGregor. When Diaz began leaving, McGregor got upset and the two exchanged heated words, leading to McGregor and Diaz's team members throwing water bottles and energy drink cans at each other across the theater. The tense moment caused Dana White to abruptly end the press conference.
In the aftermath, both Diaz and McGregor both responded to the dust up, as did fighters and pundits. Suddenly, everyone was talking enthusiastically about a card that had been receiving less buzz than expected. Among those people was Richard Perez, Nate Diaz's boxing coach, who spoke with Submission Radio shortly after the brouhaha, calling out McGregor for his behavior and lack of punctuality. (transcribed by Bloody Elbow)
"I think he did that just to do it, you know, to try and get on Nathan's nerves - but it didn't happen. What happened was, he came in late all cocky, started talking. So Nathan said, okay, he came late, I'm cutting, I'm booking. So McGregor didn't like it and was speechless and caught him off guard and that made him mad.
"I thought [Nate] did the right thing, just to walk out and got on McGregor's nerves. He didn't like it. He didn't know how to handle it. So acted like a little kid and started throwing bottles - which he shouldn't have, but Nathan got to him."
This isn't the first time the two camps have gotten into pre-fight extracurricular activities. During the face-off at the pre-fight press conference for UFC 196, McGregor slapped Diaz's extended hand and a brawl almost broke out among the two. And for what it's worth, it appears that this time it was a member of Diaz's camp that threw the first bottle.
The convenient timing of the altercation led many to wonder if this was all staged as a promotional gimmick to boost interest in the card. In the interview, Perez also addressed this speculation, refuting that it was premeditated. (Also transcribed by Bloody Elbow)
"It was a spontaneous thing. It wasn't planned at all. McGregor, I guess he thinks he's the king and can come in when he wants. Nathan was sitting just there talking, he didn't care. And then when he came in, then he just said, you know what, it's my turn to leave."
And while he was on the topic of dispelling false notions, Perez also refuted the claims from McGregor that Nate Diaz was cutting from 200 lbs. to make the 170 lb. weight limit.
"He's not 200 pounds. What happened was, he sparred some guys and he hits really hard, but he was like 179-176 (pounds), something like that - and they just said he hit like a 200-pounder. But he wasn't 200 pounds. Never. Not even close. I think right now he said he was 172."
As for why McGregor got so testy about Diaz's leaving the presser, Perez says it is because he is going to lose on Saturday, and that the talk of Conor winning and forcing a trilogy fight is just to build himself up.
"No. McGregor won't do it. He won't do it. No way. He's just saying that right now because he's in front of the media. He has to say something positive about himself, but it's not gonna happen."
McGregor and Diaz rematch at UFC 202 this Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Chaos. Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz threw bottles and cans at each other during the UFC 202 pre-fight press conference.
Response. Conor McGregor responds to the chaotic scene at the UFC 202 press conference.
2 sides. Nate Diaz gives his response to the UFC 202 press conference kerfuffle.
Respect. Dana White explains why he started the UFC 202 press conference without Conor McGregor.
401K. Conor McGregor says he retired "for a day" during the UFC 200 fiasco.
EXTRA CREDIT READING
Glover. Nick Yidiaris wrote this about Glover Teixeira right before his UFC debut. I was reminded of it recently and feel like it should get more love. Check it out.
The team doing a reaction for the big day.
Embedded featuring weigh-in craziness.
Randy on the Rich Eisen show talking about fallout with UFC.
Touch Hands in the Mart
Forrest's answer to what he would do if he's fighting Rumble is pretty good.
Real talk, Dom Cruz is the best trash talker in MMA. Understated, cold blooded, verbal murderer.
Jack Slack's pod is great because Jack Slack is great.
Heavy Hands on 202.
Sincere condolences to the American Gangster, his wife, and his family.
Rest in Peace Blauna Dian Sonnen. Gave it everything she had. Can't imagine the pain Chael and Brittany are in. Love you guys.— FrontRowBrian (@FrontRowBrian) August 17, 2016
How is this not a T-Shirt? It should definitely be a shirt. Just not a Reebok one because they would screw it up terribly and probably offensively.
Yeah, like when Tank said he was getting aroused after watching himself KO Matua.
That press conference was a mess. Remember when this used to be about martial arts...? #UFC202— Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) August 17, 2016
Nick is ruthless.
Nick Diaz to Conor McGregor: That's fucked up. Bro why you hitting kids with bottles? pic.twitter.com/Ji3lpJhz1f— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) August 17, 2016
If it's been that way forever, perhaps do something to change it?
Guess that's the way it goes for me. It's been that way my whole life https://t.co/9fPa927LCl— Rick (@Rick_Story) August 17, 2016
Bring on the UFC.
Teruto Ishihara is the real MVP.
Ashlee Evans-Smith (4-1-0) vs. Veronica Macedo (5-0-0); UFC fight Night 93, September 3.
Alejandro Perez (17-6-0) vs. Albert Morales (6-0-0); UFC Fight Night 94, September 19.
Jennifer Maia (13-4-1) vs. Roxanne Modafferi (19-12-0); Invicta FC 19, September 23.
Ayaka Hamasaki (13-1-0) vs. Jinh Yu Frey (5-1-0); Invicta FC 19, September 23.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
To borrow a phrase from Jonny Bones, Nate Diaz is balls deep in Conor McGregor's head. Just taking up acres and acres of real estate. It's funny because his entire career McGregor has been dominant in the mental games but he can't get any traction with Nate. For all the fire lines Conor has in his trash talk arsenal (for instance, Conor's lines about "there must be a McGregor fight because it's busy" and his explanation for the can toss are both fantastic), he really is coming up short against Nate . Him screaming "you won't do nuthin'" to the group of guys most likely to actually do something just comes off like a reach. Not to mention the fact that Nate already whipped him so Nate has already "done something." If/when Nate beats him again, I will be fascinated to watch how he handles it. He took the first one like a real champion but losing to the same guy twice is a horse of a different color. It will be interesting to see.
Anyway, the fight is almost here y'all and then hopefully we can move on to newer, shinier fights. Have a great day and see you tomorrow.
If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them.