LAS VEGAS — If the UFC needs anything right now, it needs Conor McGregor. Not in a press conference but in the octagon.
?I?m here, and I?m in shape. All you have to do is ask,? McGregor said to loud cheers Thursday when asked if he?d consider moving up his Aug. 20 rematch with Nate Diaz to Saturday night?s UFC 200.
The UFC desperately needs more star power in this weekend’s main event after a potential doping violation forced Jon Jones off the card. Unfortunately, The Notorious and the organization came to loggerheads over pre-fight press obligations two months ago, so McGregor was removed from the UFC 200 lineup.
So it was a bit surreal to see McGregor on stage at T-Mobile Arena — fulfilling a pre-fight press obligation — as the UFC sought answers to another last-minute lineup change. UFC president Dana White said he had been working all day on a potential opponent for Daniel Cormier now that Jones no longer is an option.
It doesn’t appear McGregor, regardless of what he says, is an option either. And that’s too bad, since he brings unmatched pizazz inside and outside the octagon — and that was no different Thursday. Here are the best one-liners delivered by McGregor, as only he can:
— ?Aug. 20 is my date: UFC 202 — the real 200.?
— ?I look forward to Aug. 20, when I will come in here correct, sharp, and take this man out.?
— ?This time, I?m prepared for a tall, lanky, ugly Mexican southpaw.?
— ?Make no mistake: I am the undisputed 145-pound UFC champion, and that is my division — a division I have destroyed.”
As expected, the square-off was intense, giving UFC fans a little taste of the tension building to this welterweight showdown, a rematch of Diaz’s shocking UFC 196 win over McGregor four months ago.
Six weeks is a long time to wait for this fight, but UFC fans will have to do just that.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@UFC