Fighters Only’s UFC 229 Fight Week Diary is brought to you by 5Dimes.
LAS VEGAS — UFC 229 is upon us and we are just a matter of hours away from Khabib Nurmagomedov facing Conor McGregor.
Friday was a day where we collectively all held our breath. Would both of them weigh-in ok? Would we avoid the drama of their two teams clashing at the ceremonial weigh-ins? Would the fans turn up in the numbers we were expecting? Thankfully the answer to all those questions was “Yes.”
Nurmagomedov was the first man on the scales at the early morning weigh-ins and he looked solid hitting the 155lbs weight limit. McGregor followed about an hour later and similarly looked comfortable making championship weight and confirming the main event this evening.
With the fight official, fans seemingly were able to allow themselves to believe the fight was taking place and they came out in numbers later on in the afternoon.
The T-Mobile hosted no fewer than 10,000 fans who packed the stands chanting, dancing and getting into the party mood. The atmosphere when both Nurmagomedov and McGregor walked out from the back was electric and everyone in the arena rose to their feet to witness the men stand on the scales one last time and then go for their face-off.
What could we learn from the final staredown? Well Nurmagomedov looked totally unfazed by the occasion and hiss steely, distant stare back at McGregor somewhat rebutted some of the claims earlier in the week that the Irishman had got in his head.
McGregor on the other hand wanted to raise the temperature and with Drake somewhat bizarrely standing behind him holding the Irish flag, he proceeded to push down on the Russian’s hands before extending his leg with a kick that was nowhere near hitting him.
It was all a little handbags at twelves paces, but it was everything that the press conference wasn’t on Thursday. It got the fans in the arena and those watching at home excited for tonight and we finally got that fight week visual of the two going eyeball-to-eyeball.
The fans in and around the T-Mobile yesterday evening were sensational and created a buzz like only a McGregor fight week can. The colours, the noise and the passion of the Irish fans can’t be matched and when they’re in town it’s nothing but a whole lot of fun.
So here we are, just a few hours away from fight night, and McGregor and Nurmagomedov going at it in the UFC Octagon. We’ve all been dreaming of this moment for a long time – so tonight sit back, relax and enjoy the madness of UFC 229.
It’s time to go.