Whether or not the old Conor McGregor is back will be decided in the octagon on Sunday (AEST) but the Irish UFC superstar has brought back the trash talk and the swagger to the UFC 264 press conference.
Whether he can still back it up remains to be seen but it’s a big change from the last fight.
The last fight in Abu Dhabi saw a new McGregor who appeared more respectful and reserved.
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The questions over whether a new respectful McGregor was a sign that he’d turned a corner and had changed his old ways — and whether that was the beginning of the end of the man who put the UFC on the map.
Easily the most marketable star on the UFC roster, McGregor showed that he hadn’t put the trash talk behind him with the UFC 264 press conference going back down the personal attack route.
And if that didn’t work, he tried the physical route, trying to kick Poirier as the pair faced off as UFC boss Dana White tried to keep them separated.
Conor McGregor tried to kick Dustin Poirier during their #UFC264 press conference face-off 😳 pic.twitter.com/5TcpHDL6ov
From the outset, White was edgy as he held Poirier back as McGregor strutted across the stage as Poirier came out on stage.
The pair faced off immediately before settling into the conference.
Poirier looked uncomfortable at the verbal barrage McGregor threw his way.
Talking about how he won last time, McGregor couldn’t help himself but to but in.
“Your wife is your husband, you’re only a little b**** of a thing, a silly little hillbilly,” McGregor said. “Jolie’s wife. Jolie’s wife,” he began chanting.
McGregor fired a shot at Jolie Poirier earlier in the week, posting a DM request from Instagram, a long way from the lovely meeting last time after the last fight.
Poirier came back and said: “You used to be better than that, your trash talking used to be better than that. F***ing weak.”
It was just the beginning as McGregor threw insults throughout.
“I’m gonna dance on your head,” he said.
“I’m gonna go through his head, put holes in him and take it off his shoulders, that’s the goal. He’s done here. This is it for him. This is the end of the road for him.
“Saturday night he’s getting walked around that octagon like a dog and put to sleep.”
It was the old McGregor.Source:YouTube
After swipes on social media, Poirier said it hadn’t got under his skin.
“It’s just business, I see a man here,” Poirier said.
But McGregor immediately hit back, “I see a corpse, I see a dead body”.
The next question was whether he was a lock. “I am a lock, a cert. I’m going to kill this man.”
Fans were split as to who won the presser though.
We got vintage Conor McGregor fight promotion today at the #UFC264 news conference. He was loud, aggressive, profane and mean. No more Mr. Nice Mac.
This is right before he threw a kick toward Dustin Poirier (he was too far away to connect and he probably knew that). pic.twitter.com/evrpZDvHOe
Interesting enough presser. Dustin Poirier very calm and composed throughout even with hostile crowd. Conor McGregor fired up as expected but seemed hesitant with a rebuttal on a few occasions. Definitely a tense atmosphere, lots on the line. Huge, massive fight 💥#UFC264
McGregor came off as a corny caricature of himself in that press conference. Poirier looks relaxed and ready. https://t.co/vhSRepIVEg
McGregor’s ‘building site’ mindset
Since he won the UFC lightweight title against Eddie Alvarez in November 2016, McGregor has had just one win — a 40 second TKO of Donald Cerrone in January 2020.
He has also suffered losses to Khabib Nurmagomedov and Poirier and his crossover boxing fight with Floyd Mayweather.
But with the bigger fights comes big paydays and McGregor has had some major windfalls, including his sale of Proper No. Twelve.
It’s an element that UFC boss Dana White said could be the end of McGregor as we know him after the last Poirier loss.
“I think it’ll make him hungry,” White said. “I think it will make him hungrier. There’s two ways this goes: hungrier or, ‘I’m done’.
“He’s got the money. When you think about it, I’m a huge Rocky fan. This feels like Rocky 3. When you get off a 310-foot yacht, you know what I mean? You’re living that good life.
“It’s tough to be a savage when you’re living like he lives and has the money like he has. On his way up, he was a young, hungry kid, and he didn’t have any money and he wanted nice things. He wanted nice suits, nice cars, nice houses. He has everything he ever wanted. I don’t know. It goes this way or that way.”
It was tense scenes between the pair.Source:YouTube
But McGregor said he’s got a different mindset this time around, having left his kids at home and focused on the task ahead.
“My mindset, I’m back on the building site with a hard hat, a hi vis and two hammers in me hands,” McGregor said. “That’s my mindset. I’m not relishing in all me past accomplishments, all the money I’ve got in me bank account, all the Forbes accomplishments — I don’t care about that. I’m back on the site in a hi-vis with two hammers in me f***ing hands.”
“An evolution of that guy, I’m better than that man,” he said. “I feel like I’ve come full circle and I look forward to showing it on Saturday night.”
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