Conor McGregor has long promised to go to Russia, although his initial pledge was to fight in the world’s largest country. He has delivered on half of his promise, as he travels through Russia drumming up business. TMZ.com speculated that perhaps part of his motivation for meeting the press in Russia was to avoid hard questions about sexual assault allegations levied against him in Ireland. If his goal was to avoid conflict he failed, as things grew contentions between the Irish fighter and a Dagestani fan.
According to rt.com, in his Moscow press conference Conor stated, “Where’s my location? The Ritz Carlton. I’m in the Ritz Carlton if anyone wants my location, right in downtown Moscow. Where is he right now? I believe he’s out of the country. I fly in, he flies out. Typical of the Dagestani man.”
When asked if he had ever been to Dagestan, McGregor replied, “I wouldn’t go to Dagestan to take a s**t. And that is the truth.”
McGregor’s comments did not end there. He expanded his character assassination to all Dagestanis by saying, “He can run — and he does run — it’s in the nature of the Dagestani man to run, every great Russian knows this about the Dagestani men, every Chechen knows this about the Dagestani men — they run and they cower.”
Unsurprisingly, this did not go over well with a Dagestani fan who attended a subsequent workout event. The fan yelled, “Me, and my people and my father are cowards? What (did we) do to you?”
The man threw a bottle at McGregor from the back of the room. The toss was high and wide, and while McGregor ducked, he was not in danger of being hit.
McGregor has not been shy in his appreciation of Putin, gifting him (naturally) a bottle of Proper Twelve and gleefully reporting Putin has promised to try it. He has been on late night Russian TV and been met by large crowds of fans.
However, McGregor’s primary purpose in Russia is to promote his comeback fight January 18th in Las Vegas. That fight will not be against Khabib Nurmagomedov, reigning lightweight champion and holder of the longest active undefeated streak in MMA. Instead, McGregor looks to get back into action against another opponent. Cowboy Cerrone and Justin Gaethje are widely considered the most likely to face McGregor. McGregor laid out an ambitious plan for 2020, covering three fights and concluding with his rematch with Nurmagomedov in Moscow.
ESPN.com reported that Dana White said no opponent had been signed and that January 18th was “being targeted,” which sounds far more vague than McGregor’s pronouncement.