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5 most heated exchanges between fighters at a UFC press conference

Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier
Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier
Sai Krishna
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 23 Apr 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

Press conferences in the UFC have produced a number of newsworthy moments over the years.

While some have been funny and entertaining, others have fast spiraled into chaos. With fighters attempting to gain the psychological edge over their opponents, a number of brawls and verbal battles have regularly transpired in front of the media.

Here are the 5 most heated exchanges between fighters at a UFC press conference.


#5 Georges St-Pierre vs Nick Diaz - UFC 158

Georges St-Pierre vs Nick Diaz
Georges St-Pierre vs Nick Diaz

The fight between Georges St-Pierre and Nick Diaz threatened to happen for a long time, but the latter missing his media obligations and GSP suffering more than one injury put things on hold.

St-Pierre was known for his composure and restraint in press conferences, but things came to a head ahead of UFC 158, where the two finally met. 'Rush' had earlier called Diaz an "uneducated fool", to which the challenger accused him of taking steroids and hinted that he was privileged.

The usually calm St-Pierre was visibly frustrated during the pre-fight press conference, asking Diaz if he is "crazy in the head" and insisting he would never take steroids. Eventually, GSP coasted to a comfortable UD win over Diaz.


#4 Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz 2 - UFC 202

Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz 2
Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz 2

The first meeting between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz was put together on short notice, so fans weren't treated to a full-blown media tour involving two of the UFC's most entertaining fighters.

But the rematch, which was booked for UFC 202, saw a number of heated interactions between McGregor and Diaz. The pre-fight press conference saw McGregor pull a standard trick by arriving late, and once he did, Diaz decided not to humor him by leaving the stage.

On his way out, Diaz made it a point to flip McGregor off, resulting in a number of bottles and other objects being thrown by the entourage of both fighters. UFC president Dana White brought the press conference to a close, and 'The Notorious' exacted his revenge with a hard-fought UD win.

Interestingly, Diaz accused "everyone" - including McGregor - of taking steroids in the lead-up to UFC 202 - a feud that rages on between the two even today on Twitter.


#3 Michael Chiesa vs Kevin Lee - UFC Fight Night 112

Michael Chiesa vs Kevin Lee
Michael Chiesa vs Kevin Lee

UFC Fight Night 112 was headlined by a lightweight clash between Michael Chiesa and Kevin Lee. Ahead of the event, a high-profile "UFC Summer Kickoff" press conference featuring the likes of Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier was organized.

Chiesa and Lee were among those who grabbed the limelight in the press conference. After 'The Motown Phenom' claimed his opponent's mother has tickets to the show, Chiesa raged by saying "I'm gonna smack the f**k out of you, don't ever talk about my mom". The two came to blows on stage, with Lee appearing to land a right hand before they were separated.

Lee locked in a rear-naked choke in the first round to submit 'Maverick'.


#2 Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson - UFC 249

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson

Khabib Nurmagomedov was a fighter who let his actions inside the Octagon do the talking, but some opponents managed to get under his skin in press conferences.

While Conor McGregor certainly enraged Khabib on end, the verbal warfare in the lead-up to the UFC 229 meeting was largely one-sided with the Irishman constantly on the offensive.

Khabib's fifth scheduled fight with Tony Ferguson, ahead of UFC 249, saw 'El Cucuy' manage to ruffle his opponent's feathers in a way no one else has managed to. Ferguson aimed shots at Khabib's difficulties cutting weight, calling him "f*****g fat".

In response, 'The Eagle' called Ferguson an "old man" and proclaimed he'd dominate him in a street fight. During the staredown, Khabib kicked away Ferguson's interim lightweight belt, displaying a rare outburst of emotion.

Unfortunately, the fight never happened.


#1 Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier - UFC 178

Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier
Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier

The rivalry between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier is one of the most bitter feuds in the history of the UFC. Ahead of UFC 178, where the two were initially intended to meet, an ugly brawl broke out in the press conference.

An intense staredown was followed by Cormier attempting to shove Jones away from him. 'Bones' retaliated by throwing a wild punch, and the duo had to be separated by a number of security personnel after finding their way off the stage in the midst of their scuffle.

A number of other insults were thrown with abandon by both Jones and Cormier. When they eventually met at UFC 182, Jones recorded a fairly comfortable decision win over DC. The rematch too went in Jones' favor, although it was eventually declared a No-Contest after he tested positive for traces of a steroid.


Published 23 Apr 2021
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