It’s no secret that Conor McGregor is a master at getting into his opponents’ heads. That has now extended to Khabib’s manager heading into his awaited showdown with Nurmagomedov at UFC 229.
McGregor finally made his first press appearance opposite Khabib at this week’s UFC 229 press conference from New York City. In an over-the-top scene, a whiskey-drinking McGregor sounded off on a litany of topics. He blamed Khabib for his controversial New York bus attack this April. He took a few more shots at Khabib’s father Abdulmanap and even issued a few death threats at the current champ.
But the most personal of all of McGregor’s barbs was perhaps directed at Khabib’s manager Ali Abdelaziz. After the normal staredown to end the presser, McGregor laid into Abdelaziz with a seething assessment of his personal affairs.
McGregor reportedly blasted the prominent manager by calling him a ‘terrorist’ and a ‘snitch’ among other things:
“Shut your mouth, Ali Abdelaziz! Mad terrorist. Terrorist snitch. I know a lot about you as well, you mad rat! I know a lot about you as well. You keep your mouth shut, kid. Let me take my picture. How’s Noah? How’s Noah? Huh? Yeah. Shut your mouth! Never speak about me ever in your life. Watch yourself around me because you’ll be out of here quick.”
“Fuck you! Fool! Don’t come at the king. Don’t ever come at the king.”
The Noah in question is a son that Abdelaziz reportedly abandoned when he became an informant for the NYPD. Abdelaziz allegedly owes $50,000 in back child support to Noah and his mother.
What Prompted It?
Abdelaziz recently revealed to Anatomy of a Fighter just what he said to McGregor to spark the personal blowup. Apparently, he just asked McGregor why he showed up to the presser with the belt when he had been stripped:
“I just said why he have belt. That’s it. I said that. Why he have belt?”
McGregor is acting more aggressive than ever before heading into UFC 229, and that’s saying a lot. There’s a mixed, highly polarized view of just what that actually means in terms of the fight.
But one thing is certain. The Irish megastar is trying to make things as personal as possible with anyone involved with Khabib in order to gain any mental advantage he can. Abdelaziz’s personal history may sound a bit seedy to those looking in from the outside.
It seems McGregor did his research to find just how deep that went. Will it help or hurt him come October?