Conor McGregor declared that Khabib Nurmagomedov would have died if he had stepped off the bus during the Irishman’s attack at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn during UFC 223 fight week.
“The Notorious” and lightweight champion, Nurmagomedov, faced off for the first time since the Brooklyn bus attack Thursday at the UFC 229 press conference at Radio City, New York.
The Dubliner claimed that putting a “bad beating” on the Russian for what transpired in Brooklyn was partly what motivated his return to the Octagon after nearly two years away from MMA.
“I came back for the love of this, to come and shut this man up…a little rat…a little weasel…a little hard man in groups,” McGregor told the gathered media.
“I’ve met many of them through my years — a man who grows in numbers, but when is on his own and is confronted with a similar situation, he cowers away. And that’s what you saw [in Brooklyn] with that little shite in the bus over there.
“He shit his jocks after doing something to his countryman that had got nothing to do with anything — that’s it. I came back for the love of fighting and the love of war. And this: I’m going to truly, truly love putting a bad beating on this little glass-jaw rat.”
McGregor mocked Nurmagomedov, labeling him a “fanboy” due to the pair exchanging pleasantries earlier in their UFC tenures.
The SBG fighter insisted that he showed Nurmagomedov his hands before attacking the bus back in April, and claimed that his rival’s decision to “cower” forced his reaction.
“I’m right in front of you! Did you not see me outside the bus, no? Did you not see me standing right in front of you outside the f*cking bus?” McGregor asked.
“I showed you my hands, no weapons. The first thing [I did] when I showed up at that bus, I showed my hands to let him know, ‘I have come unarmed, no weapons. Step off the bus, you talked a big game and now I’m here.’ He done f*cking nothing. He sat there and took a shit on that bus. He hid and cowered behind women and caused [what happened], so that’s f*cking that.
“So here’s my location now, you little fool — right in front of you,” he continued.
“Do something about it! Do something about it! Yeah, you’ll do nothing,” McGregor snarled before returning to his chair.
A frenzied McGregor reeled off insults throughout the media event. “Rat bastard,” “dead man walking,” and “inside or outside the cage — you’re dead” were among the insults aimed at the Russian as he fielded questions. When McGregor was asked what he would do to Nurmagomedov on Oct. 6, he replied, “stomp on his head as he’s unconscious,”
Nurmagomedov wondered why McGregor didn’t reach out to him privately after footage emerged of “The Eagle” confronting the Irishman’s teammate, Artem Lobov.
“When I slapped your teammate, why didn’t you send me message?” Nurmagomedov asked McGregor. “If you wanted to fix this, why don’t you send me a message? You come with 40 people and you think you can change something?”
“Ask my bollocks,” McGregor roared back. “If you got off that bus, you’d be dead now. You’d be dead and I’d be in a cell, so shut your f*cking mouth about messages. Do I look like a bloke that messages blokes? F*ck you.”
Khabib fired back: “Everybody knows, at media day there is a lot of security. Of course I’m going to sit on bus with all red corner. He comes with 40 people and he thinks he can change something? Okay, we talked with him before, why he don’t send message? Why? He could say, ‘Hey, you have problem with my brother, my teammate,’ something like this, ‘you give him slap, now you have to give answer,’ Okay, I’m going to come.
“He can send one guy, two guys, or be alone — it doesn’t matter. But why you come with 40 people?” he said, turning to McGregor. “You could’ve came alone, with one guy or two guys, but you came with 40 people. What’s changed? Sixth of October, we’re going to see.”
Unsurprisingly, McGregor disagreed with Nurmagomedov’s point of view.
“You cornered a friend of mine and another man, Islam — a Chechen man who had nothing to do with anything — slapped him and abused him on foreign soil,” McGregor said in return. “Your own people, you little rat. And what are you talking about numbers for? You were surrounded by about 40 people, many of them hooded.”
“Why don’t you tell your friend, ‘If someone gives you slap, you have to give him one back’” said Nurmagomedov.
“Artem knows what he should’ve done: He should’ve stitched you a loaf, took his few clatters and got out of there,” stated McGregor. “It’s nothing got to do with him, it’s nothing to do with the other guy — it’s me and you.”
In April, Dana White was adamant that McGregor’s bus attack was “the most disgusting” moment in the history of the UFC. Yet, he insisted using the footage to promote the event was a no-brainer.
“It wasn’t tough at all, it’s part of the storyline,” White said. “It is what it is. There have been other situations where things have happened leading up to a fight and we played the story the way that the story played out.”
“No comment,” was McGregor’s retort when he was asked if he thought the footage should be used in the promotion for the event.
Again, McGregor alluded to a Nurmagomedov’s death when asked about his emotions during April’s attack.
“I just thank the Lord Jesus Christ that that man didn’t have the balls to step foot off that bus, or that the bus door did not open, because if that door did open, this man would be dead right now. He would be in a box and I would be in a cell and we would not have this great fight ahead of us,” he said.
“There are many things that I can speak on about the incident and about the lead-up, and about my emotions and things like that, but there are still many ongoing situations involved in it. I’m just here to compete on October 6th in Las Vegas.”
Nurmagomedov underlined that McGregor showing up with an entourage was a sign of weakness.
“He showed me his weakness, with 40 people,” Nurmagomedov said. “At UFC 205, when we meet in backstage he was very nice guy. But when he come with 40 people, he change. This show his weakness. Me and him is going to be alone.”