Today is the day we’ve all be waiting for: the day of the UFC 229 press conference and the day Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov finally came face to face.
It’s also Khabib Nurmagomedov’s birthday.
Given this latter occasion, the former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor offered the reigning champion Khabib Nurmagomedov a glass of his brand new Irish whiskey, Proper Twelve. Unfortunately for McGregor, Khabib wasn’t interested, and promptly turned down this birthday toast. Many of the Muslim faith, to remind, do not drink alcohol.
This, of course, didn’t stop Conor McGregor from drinking a glass or two or six himself, and sharing one with UFC President Dana White. In fact, this UFC 229 press conference quickly involved into a joint press conference for Proper Twelve. McGregor even revealed that the Proper Twelve logo will be printed on the Octagon at UFC 229. In other words, the whiskey is now an official UFC sponsor.
While Conor McGregor frequently plugged his new whiskey, Khabib Nurmagomedov seems to consider the Irishman’s new venture a distraction.
“I don’t know what this guy’s going to do,” Nurmagomedov said. “How is whiskey going to help him on October 6?”
Conor McGregor has not competed since August of 2017, when he came up short in a headline-dominating boxing match with undefeated legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. His most recent MMA bout occurred in November of 2016, when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez to capture the UFC lightweight title. Because he still held the UFC featherweight title he swiped from Jose Aldo at the time, this made him the first fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two weight classes concurrently. He’s 21-3 overall.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s last fight occurred in April, when he captured the UFC lightweight title with a decision defeat of last-minute replacement opponent Al Iaquinta. The title was quietly stripped from the long absent Conor McGregor on the same night. With this title win over Al Iaquinta, Nurmagomedov improved to a flawless 26-0 overall — one of the most impressive records in MMA.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/20/2018.