Warning: The press conference contains explicit language that may not be suitable for children or the workplace.
The UFC 205 press conference started the way so many do -- with everyone on stage except for Conor McGregor.
UFC president Dana White took to the podium, excited about the prospects of the massive UFC 205 fight card that features three title fights at Madison Square Garden, but McGregor's early absence was the point of discussion early. Eddie Alvarez, the lightweight champion and McGregor's opponent, steered into his status as the heel of this matchup in New York where McGregor is the fan favorite by taking shots at McGregor and the entire country of Ireland.
"I'm half Irish, right? I'm half Irish," Alvarez said. "I'm disappointed in the country of Ireland right now that this is their representative. [Points to an empty chair] Where is he? Where is he?"
The champion then walked off the stage saying, "Call me when he gets here," as he grew impatient waiting for McGregor to show up. White, asked about his prize fighter's delay and whether there would be a punishment, shrugged. "I'm in such a good mood for this event, it is what it is," he said.
As everyone waited for McGregor, questions about the future of the sport in New York were asked. "We'll be in New York a lot," said White. The other fights were addressed briefly before McGregor arrived in a white mink coat and stole Alvarez's belt that was sitting in front of his empty chair.
Alvarez came back and retrieved his belt before tossing a chair at McGregor's legs, which caused a scuffle in which McGregor picked up the chair and threatened to hit Alvarez with it. White jumped in to separate the two fighters.
Once everyone had been settled down from the physical altercation, the verbal jabs began flying between McGregor and Alvarez as they set the tone for what should be a heated matchup in the octagon on Saturday night.
Here are the best quotes from the press conference:
McGregor responding to Alvarez's comments on Ireland: "I don't give a f--- about what Eddie says. Who gives a f----? The Irish are back. We've taken back control of New York City. I control New York City. I'm a f----ing pimp ... in a f---ing mink. ... I'm fresh, ready to go. I'm going to shut this man up. Trust me on that."
McGregor on showing up late: "I operate on my own time, and I'm running early on my time."
Alvarez on what his future will be after the McGregor fight: "After I beat Conor and silence the country of Ireland, I'm going to have some pina coladas somewhere. You can find me there."
McGregor on his possible retirement: "I'm only warming up. I'm only warming up. I'll take all them damn belts over there."
McGregor on moving up to welterweight and go for a third belt: "All the belts."
Welterweight champ Tyron Woodley's response: "We punch a way different power in this weight division. Pack a lunch, brother."
McGregor on UFC saying he'll have to give up one of his belts if he has two: "I'll army up and then I'll see what kind of army they bring and we'll go from there. We'll cross that bridge when we get there."
McGregor's prediction for the fight: "I predict I rearrange his face. He's too easily hit. Through all the talking, through everything else, he can be hit too easily. It's happened his whole career. When you're talking about someone with the precision I have, I'm going to hit him and he's going to fall. ... I think one round. If he can hold out and he can drag it into the trenches, I'll take my hat off to him. But he'll never be the same if that's the case."
McGregor on possibility of facing Nate Diaz for the third time at UFC 209: "Possibly. Who knows? But I'm the most active guy up here. And that's a fact. We'll see."
McGregor on improving with each fight: "I looked in the mirror this morning and I said, 'Man, I'm better than I thought I was last night!' All these fights are learning experiences for me. They're very, very enjoyable. I'm very happy [Rafael dos Anjos] p------ out of the first one when I was supposed to get the second belt. I would've knocked him clean out like I said. I'm very happy that I was taken on that detour with Diaz. I got to learn about myself and evolve and go to that next level of my training and of my belief and here we are now and I'm a new version of myself once again."
McGregor on whether he has the mental edge: "I feel he's damaged goods. His career, he's been damaged goods. Looking at him, he's aged, he looks a little gaunt. ... The shots will land whether he's feeling good or feeling bad. My shots do damage and that's it."
Alvarez on being the champion: "I've always been the underground king of this sport. I've always been the UFC champion whether I was here or not. It was just a matter of time before I got here and got this belt and no one is getting it from me."