Las Vegas, NV — Once upon a time, Conor McGregor was the man who apologized to absolutely nobody.
So will that man show up in the octagon on Saturday night? That’s the question we posed to the former champ-champ during Thursday’s UFC 264 pre-fight press conference.
“An evolution of that guy. I’m better than that man, you know what I mean? I’m evolving, I’m coming full circle and I’m looking forward to showing it on Saturday night,” responded McGregor.
Reflecting on that 2016 victory against Eddie Alvarez, which saw McGregor add the lightweight title to his featherweight crown, the Irish star added that “that night was the single greatest performance in UFC history. Widely regarded, the night I won the second world title in Madison Square Garden.”
And, perhaps channelling a bit of “Mystic Mac,” he added “this performance on Saturday night, I’m going to top it.”
Opponent Dustin Poirier, the more reserved of the two, was greeted by McGregor’s brash trash-talking, his flamboyant persona. That’s something that was absent, mostly, from their second meeting. “He’s not in the same stratosphere as me,” McGregor exclaimed when asked about his opponent. “The man looks disgraceful up here. He looks frail. He looks frail at this weight now. I’m telling you, his head, his body, his frame, his eyes, that weight cut is getting to him. I’m on weight and ready to go. There will be nothing free given here. Everything is getting took here.”
Even a bottle of Poirier’s hot sauce, which McGregor stole to open the press conference.
“You’re getting walked like a dog in that octagon on Saturday night,” McGregor had taunted Poirier earlier in the evening. “You’re only a little b*tch. Your wife is your husband. You’re only a little b*tch of a thing, you’re a silly little hill-billy.”
“You used to be a lot better than that. The trash talk was a lot better than that. F*cking weak,” Poirier retorted.
It’s long been suggested that McGregor got into Poirier’s head in their first meeting in 2014. That approach was absent in their second fight, earlier this year, where Poirier evened the score with a TKO win of his own. Round three will be determined Saturday, and whether McGregor’s antics have any impact remain to be seen.
UFC 264 takes place this Saturday, July 10 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main card airs live on PPV.