FRIDAY NEWS DIGEST 10/5 – Conor late for press conference, Khabib not having any of it, PFL tonight

By Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch managing editor

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Conor McGregor up to his usual tricks

In a move that shocked no one in MMA, Conor McGregor arrived roughly 30 minutes late for the UFC 229 pre-fight press conference on Thursday. His opponent, lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, wasn’t interested in waiting around though. He insisted the presser start on time and took questions from the media for about 15 minutes before abandoning the event when McGregor had still not arrived.

“I don’t wait for anybody,” Khabib said before he left.

This left UFC president Dana White alone to take questions while waiting for McGregor to arrive. Once the Irishman arrived, perhaps calculatedly so, he had the stage all to himself.

“He’s better off running anyway,” McGregor told the theater full of fans who were eating out of the palm of his hand. “He doesn’t want to be around me…He is petrified, and that’s it.”

McGregor also boasted about how much he plans to earn for this fight and estimated he would be a billionaire in five years time.

“I’d say I’ll close in around the $50 million mark,” McGregor said. He is basing this estimate on the pay-per-view doing 3-3.5 million buys. Mayweather fight aside, McGregor’s current top pay-per-view mark is 1.6 million buys for the second Diaz fight, a UFC record. That said, Conor’s star has risen significantly since he boxed Floyd Mayweather, so all bets may be off regarding a pay-per-view ceiling.

Nontheless, $50 million or even half that figure is head and shoulders above the most any fighter has earned for a single UFC fight.

Now the talk is over, and all that’s left is for both men to weigh in successfully Friday morning to make the fight official.

If UFC 229 isn’t enough for you…

If Saturday can’t come fast enough and you need a fighting fix, PFL has a show Friday night from New Orleans, LA. Quarterfinal and semifinal bouts for the featherweight and heavyweight tournaments will all be taking place tonight. Key match-ups include Francimar Barroso taking on Josh Copeland in the heavyweight division and Andre Harrison meeting Alexandre Bezerra in a featherweight bout.

Prelims begin at 7:30 P.M. ET on Facebook Watch and the main card goes live at 10 P.M. ET on NBCSN.

Check out yesterday’s news digest including open workout highlights

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