McGregor and Cowboy finally go face to face ahead of Saturday’s bout
Watch the best moments from the press conference here
Las Vegas, USA – Last night, “The Notorious” Conor McGregor and Donald “Cowboy” Cerronecame face to face for the first time ahead of their upcoming bout at a press conference held at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas.
It was an opportunity for both welterweight fighters to exchange words and provide fans around the world with an early taster of the main action to come on Saturday 18 January in the T-Mobile Arena at UFC® 246: McGREGOR vs. COWBOY. In a packed room with journalists from around the world in attendance, both McGregor and Cowboy expressed their respect and admiration for one another, while sharing their beliefs on how the weekend’s fight will play out.
On the prospect of returning to the Octagon® for the first time since October 2018, Conor McGregor said: “I’m still a passionate young man, still reaching for the stars and aspiring to do things that have never been done before. I feel good, I feel energetic, light, fast, accurate and precise. I feel good here.”
“I don’t think I’ve changed too much, granted there are different opponents, different circumstances. I’m very eager to perform for the fans on January 18th, I’ve got a solid opponent in front of me, a veteran of the game. I’m just in a good spot, I don’t think I’ve changed or altered; I’m just committed, focused and happy to be here.”
Donald Cerrone, determined to continue his five-fight win streak on US soil, told journalists how he was delighted to be facing McGregor: “I’m excited to be up against him. I’m going five rounds with this dude and I cannot wait till Saturday night. It’s cool to finally get what I deserve. Thank you, Conor, you do bring the biggest pay days, you do bring the most eyes!”
“You could definitely say this is, to date, the toughest battle I’ve stepped in to. I’m stoked, man. (Everyone says) you never make it on the big fight, well this is the biggest one, so let’s see?”
Conor McGregor also shared his predictions for the bout, while also telling media of the huge respect he holds for his opponent: “I can read Donald, I like him a lot and he’s a good guy, but I can read Donald like a children’s book. He’s a good fighter, he’s got some good tricks up his sleeve. I know the tricks he has, and I know what he’s planning”.
The Irishman also responded to questions about whether his attitude had altered since he last appeared in the Octagon: “I don’t think I’ve changed too much, granted there are different opponents, different circumstances. I’m very eager to perform for the fans on January 18th, I’ve got a solid opponent in front of me, a veteran of the game. I’m just in a good spot, I don’t think I’ve changed or altered; I’m just committed, focused and happy to be here.”
“I’m setting out big goals. I’m going to kickstart the UFC’s 2020 year in a big way and I’m going to continue it. It’s going to be a mega year for the UFC. It’s damn good to be back.”
Donald Cerrone dismissed claims that his opponent, McGregor, is underestimating the challenge he poses: “I don’t think he’s overlooking me at all, he knows exactly who is standing in front of him, he’s trained, he’s ready.”
When asked about the American’s gameplan for the bout, he said: “You’d be stupid to think this man doesn’t have a wresting defence or a grappling defence, So for me to just walk in and think I can just submit him, we’ve got to go out there and fight.”
A full re-cap of the best moments from the press conference can be viewed here
The eyes of the world will be watching both fighters this Saturday night when the talking stops and all is settled inside the Octagon. In what will be the first UFC® bout of the year and the new decade, it provides the perfect platform for either McGregor to record his first victory since November 2016 or Cowboy to extend his record number of UFC wins to 24