UFC 229 Fireworks Expected At McGregor and Nurmagomedov Presser
UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and former lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor are scheduled to face off on Sept. 20 at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, a press conference to promote UFC 229 slated for Oct. 6 at the T-Mobile Arena.
It will be the first time that both fighters will share the stage following that dramatic UFC 223 media day skirmish back in April. For those who are unaware, the highlight of that was when “The Notorious” attacked the bus carrying the Russian mixed martial artist and other fighters on the card, Bleacher Report said.
McGregor would eventually be arrested for the incident and pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct back in July. The Irishman was handed a plea deal wherein he had to perform five days of community service and attend three days of an anger management program.
A month later, the UFC announced that both Nurmagomedov and McGregor would meet at UFC 229, giving the Irishman a chance to reclaim his lightweight title. However, Nurmagomedov, speaking to UFC on Fox 30 in Calgary, vowed not only to retain his title but change the face of McGregor once they face off in the Octagon.
The animosity is expected to carry on at the press conference although the event will be closed to the general public. Only accredited media will be allowed at the presser which will be streamed online.
The upcoming clash will be Nurmagomedov’s first since last facing Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 via dominant fashion. The undefeated Russian won via five-round decision, 50-43, 50-43 and 50-44. This was about the same time when McGregor was arrested, two days after that celebrated bus attack.
After conquering Iaquinta, Nurmagomedov took a swipe at the Irishman.
"Al Iaquinta is the real gangster," Nurmagomedov said via ESPN. "This is not about chicken. Where is Conor? He's going to fight a bus? I want to fight real guys."
If records are to be the basis, McGregor faces an uphill climb against the undefeated Russian. The last time he fought in the Octagon was on Nov. 12, 2016. He faced and defeated Eddie Alvarez via second-round technical knockout to win the UFC Lightweight Championship.
McGregor took some time off and eventually re-emerge in the boxing ring. He fought and lost to the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. after 10 rounds.
Now, he returns to the original sport that catapulted him to fame. McGregor has shown the ability to explode and buck the odds – something that he will have to do to wrest the title from Nurmagomedov.