Conor McGregor Arrives Late, Khabib Nurmagomedov Bolts on UFC 229 Press Conference

The UFC 229 press conference was a bit anti-climactic after Conor McGregor showed up 25 minutes later and Khabib Nurmagomedov decided to leave

There was no face off nor any back and forth between lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor at the UFC 229 pre-fight press conference on Thursday.

With a raucous crowd in attendance at the Park Theater in Las Vegas, Nurmagomedov decided he wasn’t going to wait around for McGregor to arrive so he insisted that the press conference start on time at 6 p.m. ET.

McGregor, who notoriously shows up late to just about every function these days, was nowhere to be found and Nurmagomedov refused to cater to his schedule by waiting around for him to arrive.

“I need no wait for nobody. This is 3 p.m. Fans are here, media is here, everybody is here. Dana [White] is a little bit late, it’s OK but 3 p.m. I begin,” Nurmagomedov said while facing a very pro-McGregor crowd at the press conference.

“I have schedule, I have to make weight. I have to worry about myself. Why do I have to think about him? He comes or not, if somebody’s late, this is not my problem.”

Nurmagomedov answered several questions from the media assembled at the theater but after 15 minutes and no sign of McGregor’s arrival, he decided to get back to work on making weight rather than waiting around for his opponent.

“15 minutes I’m here, this guy didn’t come,” Nurmagomedov said as he got up from the table with his UFC title. “This is big disrespect. Thank you so much. Tomorrow 9 a.m. I’m going to show you my weight and see you tomorrow guys.”

With that, Nurmagomedov made his exit from the press conference, leaving only UFC president Dana White left to field questions for a few minutes until McGregor finally made his long awaited arrival.

McGregor showed up with a bottle of his Proper 12 whiskey and got showered with cheers from the crowd after he walked out on stage.

With a smile on his face, McGregor didn’t blink after finding out that Nurmagomedov had bolted from the press conference.

“I’m only a couple of minutes late for f–k’s sake. The backwards c–t, he should have stayed put,” McGregor said. “That’s a sign. He doesn’t want to be around me. He doesn’t want to be around these people. He is petrified and that’s it. He said nothing in New York and I guarantee he was saying s–t while I wasn’t here. So that’s the truth of it.”

While Nurmagomedov likely avoided being verbally assaulted by McGregor after leaving the press conference, the main event fighters did miss out on the chance to share another face off before one last stare down on Friday at the ceremonial weigh-ins.

McGregor has talked often about what he learns from an opponent when he faces off with them before a fight but it seems he’s not even in the mood for that right now.

According to the former two-division UFC champion, he just wants to make sure Nurmagomedov makes weight on Friday and then shows up to fight on Saturday. McGregor says nothing else matters to him but that.

“I’m here to fight this man Saturday night,” McGregor proclaimed. “He has to make weight, make sure he goes and gets that f–king weight off him. That’s more important for me. I want him making weight. I want him to show up on Saturday night cause he has pulled out of fights very last minute, been rushed to the hospital and all this other bollocks.

“So get that man into that sauna and cook him like the little chicken jaw rat that he is.”

Both Nurmagomedov and McGregor will be required to make weight on Friday morning starting at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT before they face off for the last time at the ceremonial weigh-ins to make their lightweight title fight official.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.