UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor did not have anything nice to say about Nate Diaz, his opponent at Saturday’s UFC 196, during the pre-fight press conference on Thursday.
Diaz has been outspoken about McGregor in the past, but now that they are actually scheduled to fight each other, McGregor said Diaz has been quieter and appears frightened.
“This man, let’s see can he fight. Let’s see can he bring the fight. He’s talked a lot. There’s been subtle digs over the years. Now as the fight comes closer he’s like a scared little boy trying to pass the spotlight off,” McGregor said, according to Fox Sports. “That’s what a man does when he’s scared. He shies away and tries to pass it on. That’s what you’re seeing with Nate.
“He’s talked a lot previous. Saying he’s going to do this, he’s going to do that, now we’re up here and we’re doing this and he is saying absolutely nothing.”
McGregor was originally scheduled to fight Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight belt—seeking to become the first UFC fighter to hold titles in two weight classes simultaneously—before dos Anjos withdrew from the matchup with a broken foot. McGregor has said Diaz was his preferred replacement opponent, but he still believes he will win with authority.
“You’re like a gazelle, all bunched up together, hoping that you get spared,” McGregor said. “I’m a lion in there and I’m going to eat you alive.”