The UFC 264 main event is set for Saturday night in Las Vegas, after Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier both made weight – and there was a heated staredown at the end of Friday’s ceremonial weigh-ins.
After the Irishman threw a kick at Poirier at Thursday’s press conference, UFC president Dana White made sure to keep “The Notorious” at bay before commentator Joe Rogan stepped in for an interview.
“Joe, in 16 hours time this man is gonna learn that if you disrespect a person’s kindness and take it as a weakness, you must pay,” McGregor said.
“Tomorrow night, I’m gonna make this man pay with his life and I mean it. You’re dead in that Octagon,” he added, gesturing at Poirier.
“The Diamond” was certainly the pantomime villain for the thousands of fans inside T-Mobile Arena, who have loved seeing their man McGregor return to his old antagonistic ways with trash-talking and mind games, after a respectful build-up to their second fight in Abu Dhabi.
Not that it has fazed the 32-year-old American one bit.
“It means nothing, it’s noise,” said Poirier, who handed McGregor his first defeat by knockout in January. “Tomorrow night tune in. I wanna thank you all for the cheers, the boos, I love you all.”
Poirier will be the last man to make the walk to the Octagon on Saturday night but was the first on Friday morning. Clocking in at 156 pounds, the Lafayette, Louisiana native put the pressure on his outspoken rival to show up on point.
The athletes began to flow through the UFC Apex curtains to tip the scales one by one with no sight of McGregor. No worry – the 32-year-old still checked his numbers within the first 30 minutes and came in identical to Poirier.
Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos made a surprise appearance when he weighed in as the backup fighter for the main event. Flashing back to UFC 196 in 2016, fans will remember that rather than facing Nate Diaz, McGregor – then the featherweight champion – was originally set to challenge for the Brazilian‘s 155-pound crown.
A foot injury forced Dos Anjos from the bout and he went on to drop the title to Eddie Alvarez, while McGregor suffered an upset loss to Diaz before getting the win back and then taking the title off “The Underground King”.
And seemingly there was an altercation backstage between the former would-be rivals after the official weigh-ins. “Conor you’re such a snake, sneaking from behind and playing tough,” Dos Anjos tweeted. “Soon or later we will finish business. I’m not like the guys you play around with.”
It was smooth sailing for the welterweight co-main event combatants, though, as former title challengers Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Gilbert Burns made weight.
Unfortunately, the same couldn‘t be said for Mexican striking sensation Irene Aldana, who was the only fighter out of 26 on the card to miss weight.
Making her return to action following her defeat by Holly Holm last October, Aldana weighed in at a stunning 139.5 pounds.
The 33-year-old’s opponent this weekend, Yana Kunitskaya, still accepted the fight and will receive 30 per cent of Aldana’s fight purse.
During her UFC run, Aldana has seen two opponents miss weight by five pounds, but had never missed herself, though the Lobo Gym staple tipped the scales at 136.6 pounds for her Invicta FC 16 match-up against Jessamyn Duke.
FROM THE ARCHIVES