At UFC 189 last Saturday Conor McGregor became UFC interim featherweight champion and, despite all the bad blood that was spilled before, acted very respectful to opponent Chad Mendes. However, Mendes’ teammate Urijah Faber still seems to have some hard feelings for the brash Irishman.
In the latest episode of Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, he tells the story of the somehow infamous backstage scuffle between him and McGregor that happened on Friday, only minutes before the official weigh-ins. And this is how it all came about:
“I was in the hallway backstage and there was one men’s bathroom with one toilet, one sink, you know, everything else, and there’s a female one, so I’m waiting in line and there’s a guy behind me who was like ‘you should check the girls,’ cuz there’s a lot more guys backstage at UFC than there are girls. And I said no, I’ll check into it if you watch the door for me. So I go into the bathroom, I told this guy, I’ll go pee real quick, I’ll be right out, just make sure if anyone comes they know I’m in there.
“So I’m washing my hands and someone goes and tries to shake the knob, so I open the door, and it was someone trying to open the door for Conor, and as I’m walking out he’s walking and we’re nose to nose. It was super random, wasn’t in anyone’s locker room or anything like that, we were just in a hallway and it so happens that we get face to face, and the guy looks like he was gonna die, it was crazy.
“He’s like, ‘what’s up little man’ and he rubs my head and I grabbed his stomach and was feeling his ribs, his scrawny little rib,” Faber said. “And I was like ‘man, are you gonna survive?’ I don’t know what he’s thinking, he went, like an armdrag to a double, I mean, he was doing a move and I just had the instinct to turn back do a little wrestling, so I redrag hold both his arms because I don’t know what he’s thinking. So I hold both his arms against the wall, I don’t know if he’s going to use his chin or what’s in his head, he goes “get your f—— hands off me,” I’m like, dude, I don’t have my hands on you, motherf——.
“He just walked away and went to the bathroom, then I just walked away too,” Faber said. “It was kind of confusing, it wasn’t like a real altercation. I don’t think he was trying to go for a massive takedown right before weigh-ins. I don’t know where it got heated a little bit.”
(Transcription via MMA Fighting)
After UFC 189, Faber and McGregor have been announced as coaches for the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter: USA vs. Europe. Conspiracists now suspect the backstage confrontation has been staged and is used as a build-up for the new TUF season, especially since it looked a bit awkward on camera.
“It does look like it was rigged,” Faber said. “I was thinking the same thing. It was super weird in general, but it is what it is.”
UFC Vice President of Public Relations, Dave Sholler assured at the post-fight TUF 21 Finale press conference that Faber and McGregor being coaches for the next TUF season has been only one of many possible scenarios the UFC had in mind, and that it was in no way planned before McGregor’s fight at UFC 189.
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