Former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor (21-3 MMA) has become a household name over the past couple of years.
The brash Irishman’s rise to becoming one of the most popular athletes in all of sports has been nothing short of meteoric.
Conor McGregor originally captured the attention of fight fans when he started predicting his own fights, calling the round in which he would finish his opponent with his lightning-quick left hand.
After just five fights in the UFC, Conor McGregor had arguably become the promotions biggest star.
During that time, “Mystic Mac” continued to develop his weapons both inside and outside of the cage.
McGregor eventually became so good at trash talking, that many fans and analysts believed he had already mentally defeated his opponents prior to their actual fights inside the octagon.
These traits were on full display at Thursday’s UFC 229 press conference in New York City, as “Mystic Mac” systematically attacked a number of shady figures linked to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s camp.
It was a clear effort from McGregor to try and get inside the head of his UFC 229 opponent prior to their October 6 showdown in Las Vegas.
Conor McGregor first referenced to Ziyavudin Magomedov, the Russian oligarch who sponsored “The Eagle” up until his arrest for embezzlement charges earlier this year.
“When money got pumped into your camp by that little scumbag that’s now in the little 8×10 cell, you thought you were a don. Now look at you. No money left.”
Magomedov, whose wealth is estimated at $1.2 billion, is a combat sports enthusiast who owned a controlling share of Fight Nights Global, arguably the most successful promotion in the country. Ziyavudin also reportedly paid for Khabib’s back surgery in 2017, this in addition to funding the majority of Nurmagomedov’s training camps.
Magomedov was arrested this past March and charged with embezzling over 2 billion rubles, fraud, and the “organization of a criminal community”. The oligarch was denied bail and remains in pre-trial detention (this according to Karim Zidan).
The Irishman then brought up Khabib’s father, who he scolded for being associated with Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov.
“Kadyrov’s the Chechen dictator, a crazy man, don’t get me wrong. But, Khabib’s father, lick-ass O’Hoolihan, posts a picture of Kadyrov at his mosque and the caption is, ‘Together we are stronger.’”
Ramzan Kadyrov, who was in attendance for the UFC’s first ever event in Moscow earlier this month, is considered by many to be a vicious warlord who has reportedly conducted a purge of gay men in the Chechen Republic.
As if that wasn’t enough to stir the pot and get emotions running at an all-time high, Conor McGregor then turned his attention to Khabib’s manager Ali Abdelaziz who he referred to as a “terrorist snitch“.
“Shut your mouth, Ali Abdelaziz,” McGregor screamed at Abdelaziz during Thursday’s staredown with Khabib. “You terrorist snitch! I know a lot about you as well, you mad man. I know a lot about you as well! You keep your mouth shut kid! How’s Noah? How’s Noah? Yeah, shut your mouth! Never speak about me, ever in your life! Watch yourself around me, ‘cuz you’ll be out of here quick.”
Conor McGregor’s “terrorist snitch” comment appears to be a reference from the book ‘Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and Bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America‘. The book mentions an “Egyptian mixed martial arts expert” by the name of “Ali Abdeaziz”, who was recruited by the New York Police Department in 2002 when he was 25 years old. According to the book, Ali Abdelaziz eventually lost favour with the FBI and NYPD for being “deceitful”. See more information on that story here courtesy of journalist Mike Russell.
Clearly Conor McGregor did his homework on the shady individuals surrounding Khabib’s fight camp prior to Thursday’s UFC 229 press conference.
Do you think “Mystic Mac” was able to get inside the head of “The Eagle” with any of his comments at UFC 229 press conference? Sound off in the comments section PENN Nation!