weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Conor McGregor struts with confidence as fight week begins

Updated August 22, 2017 - 7:46 pm

UFC star Conor McGregor’s first boxing fight week began Tuesday with a grand arrival ceremony outside T-Mobile Arena, where he will meet Floyd Mayweather on Saturday in what figures to be the biggest bout in combat sports history.

McGregor was mobbed by fans and surrounded by cameras before being whisked away to a tent to do interviews as he strutted through the sweltering heat in a purple three-piece suit and encountered brief skirmishes with Mayweather’s camp and angry former sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi.

If the moment was starting to get to him, it wasn’t evident from his words.

“I’m the most comfortable in this,” said McGregor, who is days away from earning a potential nine-figure paycheck. “I’m more comfortable in this than if I’m just chilling on my own. I’ve been under these lights for a long, long time.”

The 29-year-old Irish superstar has never lacked for confidence. He has drawn even more comfort from the belief that his coaches and training partners have prepared him for what undoubtedly will be the most viewed professional boxing debut in history.

“We’ve put in the work,” McGregor said. “There’s been no corners cut. I’ve fought many 12-rounders (in the gym). We are more than prepared.

“I’m ready to fight now. Make no mistake.”

He will have to wait through a lot more pomp and circumstance before any punches are thrown, though tensions appeared to almost bubble over Tuesday as the entourages for the fighters briefly crossed paths.

McGregor said he didn’t know any details of how Tuesday’s event would transpire, a common complaint at several media appearances throughout the buildup to the fight as Mayweather’s team has run the proceedings.

Shortly after he was told there would be no photo-ops of the fighters together, McGregor’s team encountered Mayweather’s larger group.

Mayweather declined comment on the incident. McGregor laughed it off.

“I saw him and said, ‘What are you afraid of a faceoff today?’ ” McGregor said. “Then he kind of disappeared among those big goons. I couldn’t hear what he said, there was just a bit of a pushing and shoving match. Nothing really happened. He can’t walk around anywhere when he’s not surrounded by those donkeys. But when he’s in the ring, he’s on his own.”

That’s where McGregor will see if he’s ready to fight one of the greatest defensive boxers in history.

“I know exactly how I’m going to crack that code,” McGregor said. “I will show it and then I will say it. People always ask me about his defense, and I say I don’t give a (expletive) about his defense the same way I don’t give a (expletive) about his offense. The same way I don’t give a (expletive) about his record or his accomplishments. I don’t care about any of that. A fight’s a fight, and on fight night, it’s me and him in there. I don’t care about his defensive capabilities like everyone’s asking me.

“I believe I know exactly how I’m going to break him down. I will show that and then I will talk about it at the press conference.”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Covering The Cage Videos
Greg Hardy, former NFL star, on MMA knockout
The former NFL star needed just 17 seconds to score a knockout on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series (Adam Hill/Review-Journal)
Marlon Moraes says Henry Cejudo will regret stepping up to bantamweight - VIDEO
UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo is coming up to the bantamweight division to battle Marlon Moraes for the vacant belt on June 8 at UFC 238. Moraes said Cejudo will regret going after a second title in a new division and added that he thinks his path will cross with former champion TJ Dillashaw in the future.
Paige VanZant details her arm injury, when she can return - VIDEO
UFC strawweight Paige VanZant was briefly linked to fight at UFC 236, but had to withdraw from the bout due to a broken arm. As a guest on the RJ Ringside Podcast, she detailed the injury and also spoke about joining the M-1 Global booth as a color commentator.
UFC 236 Press Conference Highlights
UFC 236 will feature a pair of interim title fights. In the main event, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway will face lightweight contender Dustin Poirier and middleweights Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum will collide in the co-main event. UFC 236 will take place in Atlanta, Ga., on Apr. 13.
Jon Jones retains light heavyweight belt at UFC 235 - VIDEO
Jon Jones retained the UFC light heavyweight belt when he earned a decision over Anthony Smith in the main event of UFC 235.
Kamaru Usman crowned new champ at UFC 235 — VIDEO
Kamaru Usman became the first African-born fighter to claim a UFC belt when he defeated Tyron Woodley to become the promotion's new welterweight champion.
UFC 235 Official Weigh-in Results - VIDEO
All 24 fighters competing at UFC 235 at the T-Mobile Arena on March 2 stepped on the scale prior for the official fight card weigh-ins. All four fighters competing in the title bouts slated for the event made weight.
UFC's Jones says he has no shame after recent drug test results are released - VIDEO
Though recent drug test results still show trace amounts of Turinabol in his system, UFC light heayvweight champion Jon Jones says he has no shame and is hiding nothing as he prepares for his UFC 235 title bout against Anthony Smith.
Anthony Smith stays level-headed prior to UFC 235 title fight - VIDEO
Despite UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones being in the spotlight for drug test discrepancies and other outside the cage struggles, Anthony Smith says he is tuning out the noise and remaining focused on the challenge of beating the reigning champion in the cage.
UFC 235 Media Day Highlights
Highlights and staredowns from the top three fights on the UFC 235 fight card taking place at the T-Mobile Arena on March 2.
Deontay Wilder knocks out Breazeale in 1st round to defend belt

Deontay Wilder emphatically got back into the win column Saturday night, knocking out Dominic Breazeale with an overpowering right hand in the first round to defend his heavyweight title.

Daniel Jacobs came up light on effort, but not on weight — VIDEO

You’re not beating the A side — especially when it’s Saúl Canelo Alvarez — by taking off the middle rounds of a mega-middleweight fight that unified three championship belts in the division, but that’s what Jacobs did and he rightly paid for it.