The UFC 197 Press Conference just wrapped up. Let’s talk about it.
To begin, Conor McGregor was about a half an hour late. No surprise there. Even John Kavanagh, Conor’s coach, joked about it.
Dana White was pretty visibly annoyed, and brought Holly Holm, Miesha Tate, and Rafael dos Anjos out on stage to begin without Conor. Little did he know (although he really should by now), any fighter at a Press Conference with Conor McGregor is nothing more than a set piece. Once McGregor arrived, he completely took over the show, in a big, bad, way.
Conor McGregor walked out on stage wearing the shirt you see in the photo above, a $1,250 piece of garbage. I love McGregor and his sense of style is usually on point, but this was just the most atrocious thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life. Sorry, Conor. Here’s a closer look:
First question for the Notorious One was about choosing this fight over the Frankie Edgar one, or some of the others that have called him out. McGregor blatantly said that Edgar stinks of desperation whining and begging for a shot. He respected what Nate Diaz did in his last fight, but ultimately decided to boost up Rafael dos Anjos’ numbers. He called RDA a free TV fighter who’s never made a dime.
Conor McGregor made the bold prediction that by 2017, he’d hold the Featherweight Title, the Lightweight Title, and the Welterweight Title. So he’s not only going to become the first ever dual division champion, he’ll hold three belts at one time.
Rafael dos Anjos is a great fighter, but he really needs to step up his trash talk game. When asked for a prediction, he said that he would send Conor home sad. That’s it. McGregor told Dos Anjos that he’d send him back to California, his true home. He talked about how Jose Aldo was Brazil’s true champion, and how RDA is a traitor to his home country. Conor then revealed that the UFC had to book Dos Anjos a hotel in Brazil for his upcoming media tour, although in McGregor fashion, said he booked Rafael the room. The Featherweight Champion made his point clearer by saying, “Your kids names are Bob and Donald. Why are you raising American children?”
When Conor was asked for a prediction, he said while he’d love to drag the fight out into the second or third round to “beat the ugly out of Rafael”, he can’t see the Middleweight Champion lasting one minute. He called RDA a slow, bum version of Aldo. When Dos Anjos’ quick TKO of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone was brought up, McGregor called Cerrone a pussy who didn’t get TKO’ed, but quit.
One of the best moments in the Press Conference came when Rafael dos Anjos talked about how the 155lb Division is too big and strong for McGregor, who quickly chimed in, reminding Dos Anjos that he is an inch taller and has a four inch reach advantage. Like I said, RDA needs to step up his game, badly. By this time in the event, he was very agitated, and looked like he wanted to rip Conor’s head off already. It’s going to be a rough few weeks for him if this keeps up.
The highlight of the day was when a reporter brought up McGregor’s claim that he could beat Jesus in the octagon. Rafael said that shows that Conor doesn’t have respect for anyone, to which he once again interrupted, “Me and Jesus are cool. I’m cool with all the Gods. Gods recognize Gods.”
McGregor then asked why his Championship was not on the table in front of him, and Dana claimed it was because Conor’s belt is not on the line. It’s very weird that he’d say that, because the only other time this happened before, here was the poster:
McGregor talked a ton of shit about the UFC 197 poster, and wanted to know who made it, so he could go down to the UFC art department and “eliminate them”. Once again, he said that Rafael dos Anjos is a free TV fighter who’s never made a dime for the UFC, and wondered why he was front and center on the poster for the event.
Holly Holm and Miesha Tate were able to get in a few quick words, too! Holm was asked about a rematch with Ronda Rousey, and said that she is completely open to it. She also said that she hopes Ronda wants to do it, because you never want to see a fighter step into the octagon just because everyone says she has to. Holm compared it to Laila Ali just not wanting to fight anymore. She said if Ronda wants to stay in the movie business, good for her. (If anything in that came off like an insult, trust me, it wasn’t. Holly Holm is a sweetheart and wants what’s best for Ronda Rousey.)
Miesha Tate talked very briefly about being pissed when her title shot was taken away in 2015, and how Holly Holm’s coaches are much better than Ronda’s, so that will be a challenge for her.
Conor McGregor wrapped up the event by saying that he’s going to beat Rafael dos Anjos for Brazil, drag his severed head through the streets, and declare a national holiday there.
In the staredown pictured above, Conor McGregor attempted to recreate the El Chapo/Sean Penn photo recently making headlines.
The full press conference can be watched below: