When Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez step into The Octagon to fight for the lightweight championship of the world in the main event of UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden in New York City tonight, they will no doubt exchange plenty of punches.
But long before the headlining bout on the first-ever mixed martial arts event at Madison Square Garden, the two proud fighters exchanged plenty of verbal barbs when the Ultimate Fighting Championship held the press conference to announce the card.
“Tell him the truth. You ain’t got a (freaking) shot!” Alvarez told McGregor. “Tell him the truth. You ain’t got a shot. You ain’t got a shot. Your coach knows you ain’t got a shot, and anybody that knows anything about fighting knows you ain’t got a (freaking) shot.
“You ain’t got a shot. You’re here because you’re the easiest dude in this division. That’s why you’re here.”
Not one to pass on a good verbal exchange to help sell a few more pay-per-view buys, McGregor fired back at Alvarez.
“I rule New York,” McGregor said. “I run this whole (show), and Mystic Mac predicts I’m going to KO you inside one round.
“Listen, the Irish, we built this damn town. I’m saying it serious. We built this city. Now, we’re back. Now, we’re coming to claim what’s ours, so it’s an honor to be here. Coming in here, listening to all these fans, it truly is a dream come true. I cannot wait to perform for you. I’m going to take out one of your own, I’m going to cash your own money, but no mistake, it’s all love. The Irish love New York, and I’m honored to be here.”
Later in the press conference, McGregor took aim at Alvarez’s decision to not renegotiate his UFC contract to get a bump in pay because of the magnitude of a champion vs. champion fight.
“He got it done by signing his last contract,” said McGregor, who claims 2016 could be a $40 million year for himself. “He didn’t even negotiate new money for himself. Imagine that. Look at everybody up here! They’re all dressed like me. They’re all trying to talk like me. They’re all trying to be me.
“Everyone in the game wants this fight. This is the lottery fight, and this man took it on his last contract. Imagine that. Imagine getting the biggest fight in the history of the game and saying, ‘Shut your mouth, kid. You’re getting paid what you got your last fight and you’re lucky you’re even getting that.’ ‘Yes, sir’ and sign it. That’s what happened.”
But Alvarez was quick to respond by saying that he believes McGregor does not have the stamina required to keep up with him and fully expects to retain his championship tonight.
“When I mention fighter, you guys are thinking about technique,” Alvarez said. “I’m not thinking about technique. When I say fighter, I’m talking about how you deal with adversity, how you deal with being in a bad situation. He deals terribly with being in bad situations and don’t come back.
“You were the easiest opponent that made the most money. That’s the truth. You were my easiest opponent that made the most money.”