Conor McGregor has insisted that he is not concerned with an impending fine and potentially harsher sanctions as the fallout from the chaos that erupted at Wednesday's UFC 202 press conference rumbled on in Las Vegas writes Joe Callaghan from Las Vegas.
McGregor and Nate Diaz, who he faces in Saturday's headline rematch at the T-Mobile Arena, are both in the firing line after their respective entourages hurled bottles and cans at each other in farcical scenes at the David Copperfield Theatre, with Las Vegas police separating the factions.
UFC president Dana White, who called an abrupt halt to proceedings once the missile salvos had ceased, revealed on Thursday that he expected both fighters to be hit with huge fines by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. It's unlikely that any sanctions will be handed down before the pair face off here on Saturday night but action could be on the way soon after.
"They're both getting punished," White said in an interview Stateside. "I guarantee you both of these guys are going to get massive fines and there's probably going to be a hearing, too, after the fight. There could be suspensions, community service. It's going to be ugly."
After a low-key public workout at the Red Rock Casino with coach John Kavanagh on Thursday afternoon, McGregor took aim at both Diaz and his elder brother Nick in a brief but blistering rant.
He also again insisted that he was not the aggressor but was acting on the defensive when he hurled two full aluminium cans from the stage at the Diaz camp the day before.
"Like I said I was in fear of my life yesterday. Bottles were flying, I was ducking," he said in front of a raucous but significantly smaller crowd than previous pre-fight public workouts as the Dubliner's fourth fight in the space of over a year in Sin City struggles to match the hype of the previous three. "It was just self-defence on my part. I dunno [about fines] I was afraid for my life. I just got the f*** out of there, got my head down and kept running. That's it."
For his part, Diaz, who inflicted the first defeat of McGregor's UFC tenure on the Dubliner in March's first instalment, expressed little regrets over the unedifying scene the day before.
"I'm here as a businessman, to do what I do. We're all in the business and I want to behave myself and come out here and act right," said the veteran, who appeared to have thrown the first bottle in Wednesday's mini-riot.
"But I've got to keep it real...not even keep it real, but stay true to myself and what I believe in. And I believe the motherf***er came in with his team acting like a head honcho, shit, I've got a whole gang ready to ride. They came in like [they owned] it but we got a whole army here."
Things haven't been pretty of late for McGregor. He has sold himself as the master of mind games but has continually been visibly irritated by both Diaz brothers in the lead-up to this rematch. He again took aim at the pair on Thursday, opening his offerings with expletives.
"F*** the Diaz brothers. F** those cockroaches," said the featherweight champion, again moving up to welterweight for this bout. "It's a big fight, it always was. We came here ready for war, not ready to throw little bitch bottles and go running. We're here ready to fight so let's go.
"Listen that fairytale he's after having is coming to an end. Those little fans giving him this invincible feeling that he can't be knocked out...he can be knocked out and he will be knocked out."
McGregor had been midway through answering a question on the potential effect of a second successive defeat on his legacy when Diaz and his entourage staged their press-conference walkout. When queried again on that issue on Thursday, he quickly fired back.
"My legacy is set in stone," insisted the 28-year-old. "It was set in stone when Jose crumbled in 13 seconds. This is just something else, outside of it. This is just a straight fight. I'm happy with that because that's what I came here for. I came for a straight fight."
I am 'not concerned' with the impending sanctions - McGregor
Reviewed by Sunday Owowo