Conor McGregor Brandishes Chair At Eddie Alvarez At UFC 205 News Conference

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There was something special in the air Thursday at Madison Square Garden here in New York City.

That something was a chair.

With fans on vocal overdrive, Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez gave the rabble what they wanted, taunting and yelling at one another as they hyped their main event Saturday at UFC 205. It will be the first pro MMA event to take place in New York following the sport's legalization here earlier this year.

If McGregor, the reigning featherweight champ, can take Alvarez's lightweight strap, he'll become the first fighter ever to simultaneously hold two UFC titles.

Unless, that is, you count McGregor. He got a little appetizer at the presser when, after a characteristically late appearance, he snatched Alvarez's belt from the table and held it up alongside his own.


Warning: Video contains NSFW language.)

UFC @ufc

Enter @TheNotoriousMMA... #UFC205 #UFCNYC

That riled up Alvarez, who came in and grabbed the belt back. Previously, Alvarez had expressed annoyance at McGregor's tardiness.

"I feel bad for the country of Ireland right now," he said at the news conference, which was attended live by Bleacher Report, as he pointed to McGregor's empty seat. "This is your representative."

But McGregor arrived eventually, wearing a full-length white mink coat over a red shirt and red patterned trousers that looked suspiciously like pajamas.

"This is what confidence looks like," McGregor said of his ensemble.

Soon enough, the two were down to the serious business of promoting their fight. Alvarez seemed to bait McGregor by tossing a folding chair at his feet. McGregor lost his cool and lifted the chair into the air as if he were preparing to clock Alvarez pro wrestling style. The crowd—comprised mostly of McGregor supporters but also containing plenty of Alvarez faithful—hit a new level of pandemonium.


Warning: Video contains NSFW language.)

UFC @ufc

Note to self: Don't touch Eddie's belt! #UFC205 #UFCNYC

"A chair shot would be very bad," UFC president Dana White observed. "Very bad."

McGregor did have time to offer his take on what a win Saturday night would mean for his legacy.

"This just puts it even more in stone," McGregor said. "A second belt, it's never been done. No one has ever done it. My legacy [is that] I'll be immortalized after this."

McGregor also put his Mystic Mac hat on for a prognostication, saying he believed the fight would end with a knockout in the first round, but he added the caveat that he'd be ready if it went five rounds.

"He can be hit too easily. It's happened his whole career," McGregor said of Alvarez. "When you're talking about hitting with the precision that I have…I think one round. If he can last longer I take my hat off but he'll never be the same after that."

Alvarez was a willing foil to McGregor throughout the news conference, even storming out at one point in protest of McGregor's lateness before returning a few minutes later. The lightweight champ mixed it up with fans and didn't give an inch in the face of McGregor's trash talk, even if he wasn't quite as eloquent as the silver-tongued Irishman. @MMAFighting

McGregor nearly throws chair at Alvarez, dragged off stage at UFC presser (@marc_raimondi)

"I've always been the underground king in this sport," Alvarez said. "I just got this belt and no one's getting it from me. ... I'm prepared to completely destroy Conor McGregor and silence this whole damn crowd."

Whether it was genuine or just promotion, the chair-lifting and the talking did their jobs. The crowd left in a froth, fully prepared for Saturday's historic bout.

"I love New York City. I'm a f--king pimp," McGregor said. "I'm fresh, I'm ready to go, I'm gonna shut this man up. Trust me on that."


Scott Harris is live in New York City for UFC 205. For more updates, follow Scott on Twitter. All quotes obtained firsthand.

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