All the talk about the calm buildup to Saturday’s UFC 202 main event between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor went flying out the window on Wednesday afternoon. Well, more specifically, it went flying through the air of the David Copperfield Theater at the MGM Grand.
The event, scheduled for 4 pm ET, began at close to 4:15 without McGregor on the dais. When asked about the absence of the UFC featherweight champion, UFC president Dana White was terse, “He’s on his way. We’re starting without him," White said. "He has to start respecting people’s time. Listen, we’re having a press conference here, if it’s over before he gets here then it’s over.”
The press conference was fairly uneventful until McGregor arrived about 17 minutes into the event.
McGregor blamed his tardiness on being told the wrong time and followed up with saying that traffic was heavy. “There must be a McGregor show in town,” he remarked.
Three minutes later Diaz abandoned his seat and was heard shouting taunts down toward McGregor as he and his team made their way out of the theater.
“F**k your whole team,” said Diaz. “How about that?”’
After that the scene devolved into shouts, middle fingers and more taunts before water bottles, coffee cups and even a few Monster Energy cans went flying through the air.
“That’s a wrap," White could be heard saying as the crazy scene played out. "Hey Conor, don’t throw those f**king cans. Conor. Conor. That’s a wrap, get him out of here.”
McGregor was eventually wrapped up by UFC vice president Dave Sholler and an angry White walked to the microphone and said, “Sorry guys, see you Saturday.”
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has authority over Saturday’s fight and there could be repercussions from the outburst. Those could be as simple as fines or as harsh as the cancellation of the fight.