On Saturday, punches will fly. On Wednesday, it was water bottles.
The UFC 202 press conference held Wednesday snowballed into chaos when Conor McGregor, who showed up fashionably late, and the camp for Nate Diaz, who walked off stage, began flinging water bottles in each other’s direction from across the room.
“I think (McGregor) did that just to do it, you know, to try and get on Nathan’s nerves. But it didn’t happen,” Perez said in the interview, per BloodyElbow.com. “What happened was, he came in late all cocky, started talking. So Nathan said, OK, he came late, I’m cutting, I’m booking. So McGregor didn’t like it and was speechless and caught him off guard and that made him mad.
“I thought (Nate) did the right thing, just to walk out and got on McGregor’s nerves. He didn’t like it. He didn’t know how to handle it. So acted like a little kid and started throwing bottles, which he shouldn’t have, but Nathan got to him.”
Diaz, unlike McGregor, arrived to the press conference on time and began answering questions. McGregor then waltzed in with a swagger that clearly perturbed Diaz, who subsequently left the stage and yelled at his upcoming opponent while flipping him the bird.
The whole scene was surreal, especially once water bottles started flying. But Perez shot down the idea that the uproar was staged in order to drive up interest for this Saturday’s UFC 202.
“It was a spontaneous thing. It wasn’t planned at all,” Perez said. “McGregor, I guess he thinks he’s the king and can come in when he wants. Nathan was sitting just there talking, he didn’t care. And then when he came in, then he just said, ‘You know what, it’s my turn to leave.’ ”
There will be no arriving late or leaving early Saturday when McGregor and Diaz go toe-to-toe for the second time. There also will be no bottle throwing allowed, for better or worse.
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