Conor McGregor press conferences are an event unto their own now, and our favorite Irishman did not disappoint at the UFC 205 press conference at Madison Square Garden yesterday.
With more mainstream media present than I’d ever seen at a UFC event (I had to fill in some blanks for an Israeli media dude, who was there instead of covering the Bellator event that was going down in his country at that very moment), and close to 2,000 screaming fans, the stage was set for something crazy.
And when McGregor was late – which has become par for the course – opponent Eddie Alvarez wasted no time showing he was having none of it. Shouting above the boos coming from one side (McGregor’s supporters, obviously), and the cheers coming from the other side (Alvarez’s Philly crew), he blasted McGregor for not being there…
…Took potshots at the Irish people…
(Meanwhile, the other fighters on the stage struggled to get a word in.)
…And finally, Alvarez just said screw it, and left.
You know what happened next. McGregor appeared, snatched up Alvarez’s belt…
…Alvarez took it back, a chair entered into the equation, and chaos ensued.
It was pretty awesome.
There was heat between the other fighters – poor Tyron Woodley tried to embrace the villain role and talk smack about Stephen Thompson, but no one cared, and Joanna Jedrzeczyk got aggressive and that elicited some cheers.
It was the Conor and Eddie Show, though, and their antics certainly had the crowd going nuts.
Staged or not, fake or not, it got the job done. Afterwards, some Irish journos – mainstream ones who never cover MMA – told me they were indifferent to the fight before. Now they couldn’t wait.