Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez wants to do more than just defend his title when he takes on Conor McGregor in the main event of UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden tonight.
Alvarez wants to send McGregor back to the featherweight division with a loss on the biggest UFC show in history, as the Ultimate Fighting Championship makes its New York City debut following a decades-long battle to get mixed martial arts sanctioned in the state of New York.
“I’m prepared to completely destroy Conor McGregor and silence this whole damn crowd,” Alvarez said despite a chorus of boos from fans during the pre-fight press conference.
As is his routine, McGregor was late to the pre-fight press conference, and Alvarez was so disgusted with his opponent’s lack of respect for everybody else’s time that he walked off the stage minutes into the media session.
When McGregor did arrive, he came strutting across the dais and took Alvarez’s belt back to his seat. Not taking such a braggadocious move kindly, Alvarez ripped McGregor’s featherweight title off the table, took off his jacket, folded up his chair and threw it at his opponent’s back
McGregor snapped at the move, picking up the chair, lifting it over his head before security grabbed it and chased after Alvarez. UFC president Dana White bear-hugged McGregor and walked him away from the fray before the press conference resumed.
“I don’t give a (care) what Eddie says,” McGregor said. “Who gives a (flip)? The Irish are back. We’ve taken back control of New York City. I run New York City. Without me, this whole (freaking) ship sinks.”
Prior to his opponent’s arrival, Alvarez said he was “disappointed in the country of Ireland right now” because of “their representative” in the UFC, much to the displeasure of McGregor’s loyal legion of fans in the audience.
But when questioned about the quote, McGregor was quick to let everyone know his plans for the future in the UFC go far beyond Alvarez.
“I’m fresh, ready to go,” McGregor said. “I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to shut this man up. Trust me on that.
“I’m only warming up. I’ll take all them belts. I’ll take all them belts over there.”