Conor McGregor: savage in the cage and a savage on the microphone.
‘The Notorious’ has been, without doubt, one of the most electrifying talents in the world of mixed martial arts.
A Conor McGregor press conference is always a huge occasion
But it can be argued the 32-year-old is even more entertaining when giving his opponents an earful.
He’s back in action at UFC 257, reigniting a rivalry that pushed Dustin Poirier to breaking point in 2014 and it seems already that others on the bill are ducking for cover ahead of the much anticipated press conference.
Dan Hooker, who fights in the co-main event against decorated newcomer Michael Chandler, says he wants to avoid McGregor’s wrath.
“You’ve got to be on your toes,” he joked with MMA Junkie. “You don’t want to get ‘Who the f*** is that guy’ or something like that. He could chuck you in the can in one line.”
Here, talkSPORT.com looks at some of his finest moments on the mic.
“Sixty G’s baby!”
McGregor entered into the UFC as nothing more than a hungry and talented Irishman, keen to make a mark.
After dispatching Marcus Brimage with consummate ease via a first round KO, ‘the Notorious’ had a simple message for president Dana White.
In his own way, McGregor asked for his post-fight bonus by yelling into the microphone: ‘Dana, sixty G’s baby!’ It became an instant classic and endeared the cocky young fighter with a dodgy Mohawk to the MMA world.
“Stupid baldy t***”
While his boxing debut with Floyd Mayweather may not have gone as successfully as he hoped, McGregor still managed to capture the imagination of a completely different audience.
Pugilist fans watched on in disbelief as a man who had never boxer professionally before told the world he would knock out one of the greatest defensive boxers in history.
On the final leg of their world tour in London, McGregor was in full flow as he pretended to slap Mayweather’s bald bonce.
And, after ripping into him for wearing lifts in his shoes, he said :”You should have worn them on the first day, you stupid baldy t***.”
The 32-year-old was in sensational form to promote the Mayweather fightGetty Images – Getty
Mental maths with Mystic Mac
The rivalry with Diaz escalated into a full blown war by the time UFC 202 came around.
However, before their first fight in March 2016, McGregor was in jubilant mood after his victory over Jose Aldo and felt untouchable.
During an interview with CNBC, McGregor mocked the Stockton-native and suggested he had trouble with simple arithmetic.
“I own Rio de Janeiro”
When McGregor conclusively finished Aldo’s five-year title reign as featherweight champion in 2015, it came as little surprise to those who had followed the Irishman’s career.
Although the Brazilian was a fantastic champion (and arguably more well-rounded,) the mental warfare and mind games of McGregor had wound up Aldo to breaking point.
For close to a year, the pair followed one another around the world before Aldo had to pull out of the first fight.
But before this happened, McGregor delivered one of the most arrogant and brilliant speeches to the people of Aldo’s native Brazil.
“I own Rio de Janeiro,” McGregor declared. “I’m sitting up here with my feet on the desk.
“What’s anyone up there going to do about it? Not one of yous [sic] are going to do anything about it.
“My name, the McGregor name, my family’s motto … means royal is in my blood. That goes way back. So for [Aldo] to say he is the king and I am the joker, if this was a different time, I would invade his favela on horseback and kill anyone that was not fit to work.
“But we are in a new time. So I’ll whoop his ass in July.”
“You can’t even read!”
Before mocking Mayweather in London, McGregor also one upped ‘Money’ during the second leg of their tour in Toronto.
The former five-weight world champion brought a backpack filled with cash to the stage to prove he was not suffering with tax issues as was claimed by ‘The Notorious’.
And at the end of an extraordinary rant, he delivered one damning blow to leave the hysterical crowd in raptures as he teased the 42-year-old for his inability to read.
He said: “Why are you carrying a school bag for? You can’t even read!”
McGregor rinsed Mayweather during their world tour on several occasionsGetty Images – Getty
“I’d like to take this chance to apologise…”
After delivering one of the most emphatic and composed performances in a UFC title fight ever, McGregor had one thing on his mind.
The Irishman made history at UFC 205 by beating Eddie Alvarez to claim the lightweight belt to add to the featherweight strap he had won a year before.
By becoming the first ‘double champ’ in history, McGregor understandably wanted to celebrate with his belts.
And while Dana White went to fetch them, ‘The Notorious’ delivered one of the all-time great octagon speeches, saying “I’d like to take this chance to apologise… to absolutely no-one!”
“It’s red panty night”
McGregor introduced the world to a now-iconic phrase at the ‘Go Big’ press conference in 2015 when he said anyone would want to fight him.
Referencing the lucrative sums of money he was able to generate, he looked at the lightweight contenders on stage and delivered some cold hard truths.
Despite being extremely close to his fight with Jose Aldo, McGregor was already thinking about moving up a division and taking the lightweight strap.
Insisting any fighter would drop what they had planned to face him, McGregor tried to explain it in rather graphic – albeit simplified – terms.
#UFC246 flashback: @TheNotoriousMMA introduces the world to “Red Panty Night.” pic.twitter.com/q5gjRGReMv
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) January 13, 2020
“Because I change your bum life,” he told current 155lbs champ Rafael dos Anjos. “I can make you rich.
“You fight me, it’s a celebration. When you sign to fight me, it’s a celebration, you ring back home, you ring, ‘Baby, we done it. We’re rich. Conor McGregor made us rich. Break out the red panties. We’re rich, baby.’“
“Who the f*** is that guy?”
As well-planned and as witty as some of McGregor’s all-time greatest responses have been, his greatest line was straight off the cuff.
The first UFC 205 press conference after his fight with Alvarez was announced actually started off relatively tame in New York City.
In fact, the featherweight champion started off by saying ‘I’ve nothing against Eddie’.
But after several annoying barbs by the Philadelphia-native, McGregor soon got into his flow.
As with most McGregor press conferences, it wasn’t just his opponent who felt the full force of his razor-sharp tongue. When asked by a journalist who would give him his hardest fight on stage, the Irishman paused for effect.
Sensing an opportunity, perennial featherweight contender Jeremy Stephens took his opportunity to tell the world he would batter McGregor because ‘when I knock people out, they don’t f****** move’.
As quickly as Stephens had uttered these words, McGregor made him pay by looking around in disbelief and simply asking ‘who the f*** is that guy?’”
Bring on the next one.