McGregor, Diaz news conference abandoned as chaos erupts

Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:51pm EDT
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By Philip O'Connor

LAS VEGAS, USA (Reuters) - The pre-fight news conference ahead of the highly anticipated rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz was hastily abandoned after violence erupted on Wednesday, with objects thrown and police intervening to keep the two camps apart.

The fight, which tops the bill at the UFC 202 event at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, was originally due to take place in July, but McGregor was booted off the card for refusing to fulfill his media commitments.

UFC featherweight champion McGregor, who stepped up two weight classes to welterweight only to be beaten by Diaz in March, arrived late. Despite his previous run-ins with UFC bosses, the flamboyant Irishman offered no apology.

"I'm here, I'm ready to fight. You know you're going to get a fight when I'm here," he told reporters.

The heated confrontation came sooner than many had expected as American Diaz immediately stormed off the stage to join members of his team amid a prolonged exchange of four-letter insults.

As they left the venue gesturing angrily back at McGregor, further angry words were exchanged as plastic bottles and cans were thrown between the camps, causing UFC boss Dana White to call a halt to the conference.

(Editing by John O'Brien)