Energy was high and many choice words were said at UFC 189’s world championship tour stop inside Toronto’s Eaton Centre on Friday.
The UFC held a press conference at the mall’s centre court fountain promoting the event. Fighters and the UFC president Dana White also answered questions from fans that were spanning the Eaton Centre’s three floors to get a look at their favourite fighters.
Chanting fans regularly interrupted answers from both White and the fighters. Their questions consisted mainly of asking either current UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo or challenger Conor McGregor what they plan on doing to their opponent in the cage.
McGregor and Aldo have a history of attempting to mentally dominate each other, either through posture or physical contact.
“My opponent does not want me close, he always wants somebody to intervene,” McGregor said during the press conference. “But on July 11, there will be nobody to intervene.”
The already tense atmosphere increased as a journalist from the Bloody Elbow, a news blog covering mixed martial arts, asked Aldo if he would be participating in a lawsuit currently pending against the UFC.
“I’m just wondering about the pay situation, do you think it has improved at all?” said Brian D’Souza from Bloody Elbow. “Do you have any thoughts about joining the lawsuit?”
White responded before Aldo’s translator could, joking that he was translating for him, and dismissed D’Souza’s question. D’Souza then stood up and attempted to argue with White, who again dismissed him.
“That question was a respectful question but your answer was disrespectful,” D’Souza said.
“Shut up…sit down and shut up,” White responded.
This was the second-last press conference held for UFC 189’s world championship tour. Aldo and McGregor are set to face off at the event on July 11. The fight will be held at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas Nevada.