At one point during Conor McGregor’s intimate Open Workout performance, it was almost as if he could make time stand still.
Hitting pads with teammate Owen Roddy, McGregor fluidly and effortlessly stung each of Roddy’s hands with precision before casually looking off into the sea of fans in attendance while still connecting with blistering combos.
That's a baaaad man! #UFC196 https://t.co/H17WdjYM2o
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 3, 2016
McGregor put on a show, as usual, at the Jabbawockeez Theater inside MGM Grand.
Despite losing his chance at history – a lightweight title opportunity against Rafael Dos Anjos that would have made him a two-weight world champion – McGregor said that he is still the best show in town.
“It’s always a superfight when I’m in town,” McGregor said. “This is the numbers and straps life. Take out the strap and it’s still the numbers life. I’m here for a fight and let’s see if this man can fight.”
McGregor takes on UFC veteran and fan favorite Nate Diaz in a five-round welterweight bout Saturday night at UFC 196. “The Notorious” has always respected Diaz but feels he has already cowered to McGregor in the trash talk game.
“He’s talked a fair bit. If you’ve followed me or him you’ve noticed there’s been subtle digs over the course of the last two years,” McGregor said. “But now all of sudden he’s a scared little brother of some sort.”
The fight itself is one of the most anticipated of McGregor’s career because of Diaz’s size and striking acumen. But the brash Irishman, according to script, feels Diaz will still suffer the same fate as all of his other UFC opponents.
“I’d love to see it play out a little bit longer so I can show the fans the improvement,” McGregor said. “I didn’t get to show true improvement that I have in my game in that last fight because it was over so quick. But I just can’t see him taking the shots. He’s going to feel a new level of precision and a new level of power.”
MORE ON UFC 196: Buy tickets to UFC 196 | McGregor vs. Diaz First Staredown | Watch: UFC Minute - Inside UFC 196 Numbers | McGregor - Rogan Riffs | McGregor on UFC 194 | Holly Holm - Ready to Defend | Miesha Tate - And New | Read: Reasons to watch | McGregor doesn't disappoint in verbal war w/ Diaz | Diaz steps up, states case against McGregor | Fight week blog: Diaz a popular replacement | Sanchez ready to entertain on UFC FIGHT PASS | Pre-order UFC 196 PPV
Matt Parrino is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MattParrinoUFC