One day after announcing at a Moscow news conference that he will return to the Octagon in January, Conor McGregor saw his rusty reflexes tested in the Russian capital.
McGregor had to dodge a water bottle thrown in his direction during a heated verbal exchange on Friday with a man who expressed anger at the Irishman's insults of Dagestan and its people.
I'm back. https://t.co/9gJMgn91By— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 26, 2019
McGregor, who lost in November to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, a Dagestani, was asked at Thursday's event about the possibility of him visiting Dagestan.
"I wouldn't go to Dagestan to take a s---, and that is the truth," McGregor said.
Referring to Nurmagomedov not accepting his rematch challenge, McGregor added: "It's in the nature of the Dagestani man to run. Every great Russian knows this about the Dagestani men. Every Chechen knows this about the Dagestani men. They run, and they cower."
The next day, reportedly during a news conference for one of his sponsors, McGregor was questioned by a man standing among the media.
"Do you remember what you said about Dagestan people yesterday?" the man asked. "If you hate Khabib and his team, why you say bad things about people?"
McGregor started to explain himself.
"I'll tell you why. Because of disrespect the people showed me in the buildup to the fight," McGregor said. "They sold items in the grocery with my face on it. They sold ..."
The man interrupted. "All people?" he asked McGregor. "My father, my brother, you think are cowards?"
"Yes," McGregor said. "Yes."
"Why cowards? My father? My brother?" the man asked. "What [did they] do to you?"
Then the bottle came flying toward McGregor's head, and the man, who was not named in news reports about the incident, was escorted from the room.