If you didn't happen to catch the UFC 205 press conference last night, then boy oh boy did you miss out on one of the most entertaining events of the year. The dais of fighters were dressed to the nines, the crowd was going absolutely bonkers and Conor McGregor was in the kind of prime, one-liner spitting form that we haven't seen since his UFC 196 press conference with Nate Diaz ("He makes gang signs with one hand and balloon animals with the other!").
Among McGregor's instant classics, were his rebuttal of the notion that he would be forced to vacate one of his belts should he defeat Alvarez at UFC 205 ("they're gonna need a fookin' army!" McGregor quipped), and how much he felt he was worth following the UFC being sold for 4 billion dollars -- it's 4.2 billion dollars, btw -- but his greatest zinger of the night easily came against Jeremy Stephens, of all people.
When asked who he thought on the dais would give him the best fight, McGregor was quickly interrupted by Stephens, who stated that "This guy TKO's people. When I knock people out, they don't f*cking move."
Then this happened.
Stephens, who is already scheduled to face former lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar at the event, seemed to take this diss in stride, possibly knowing that he would have to string a few more wins together before he ever got a legitimate shot against McGregor. When speaking with Fox Sports after the conference, however, "Lil Heathen'" doubled down on his insults, claiming that McGregor locked himself in his dressing room when he confronted the Irishman backstage.
"I'm not sure what that fire crotch said. I really couldn't hear at the presser, and it didn't really matter," said Stephens.
"I went backstage, and that little leprechaun wanted no part of it. He locks himself in a room. He talks a big fictional character up, but didn't want to back it up...Hopefully he'll step up to the plate and fight a real savage like me. You know I'll mop the floor with that little ginger crackhead any day."
Not to play sides, but it seems largely improbable that a guy who has faced the likes of Jose Aldo, Nate Diaz, and Max Holloway (who scored a victory over Stephens less than a year ago) would be scared to lock horns with someone who has lost 3 out of his last 5 contests, all due respect. Should Stephens manage to score an upset over Edgar, however, he will definitely be one step closer to getting that payday he so desires.