The blows between Conor McGregor and Stockton’s Nate Diaz nearly started two days early.
At a newsconference Thursday for UFC 196 at MGM Grand Hotel, the welterweights stood toe to toe for a few seconds before McGregor (19-2) slapped away the outstretched arm of Diaz (18-10), triggering a tense moment as UFC President Dana White pulled Diaz away and security got involved.
The trash talk between the fighters continued, with McGregor telling Diaz to “dance” for him.
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Even with less than two weeks to promote Saturday’s bout in Las Vegas, McGregor’s promotional sparring with Diaz might make the new main event bigger than McGregor’s original matchup with lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos, who pulled out with a foot injury.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.