The Ultimate Fighting Championship came to New York City this past Thursday as part of the MMA organization’s UFC World Tour. Spanning the globe, this five-country, 10-city trip is promoting this summer’s blockbuster pay-per-view, UFC 189, taking place in Las Vegas, Nev.

The main event features featherweight champion Jose “Scarface” Aldo from Brazil, versus “The Notorious” Conor McGregor of Ireland. The co-main event offers welterweight champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler from the U.S., versus Rory “Red King” MacDonald of Canada.

All four fighters, along with UFC President Dana White, were on hand at the Beacon Theatre in Manhattan Thursday night. A lively crowd came out to support the event, cheering and jeering in true New York fashion, and partaking in a Q&A session after the press conference.

The star of the show was clearly McGregor, who has grown to epic fame in a vastly short amount of time. His Irish roots played well to the NYC crowd, as fans donned his nation’s flag and booed his competitor, Aldo, heavily. The Notorious one is a king on the microphone, full of one-liners that riled up an already boisterous audience.

Mixed martial arts is still a growing brand nationally and globally. UFC President Dana White talked to the media about the popularity of the sport, future plans on expanding its headquarters and the possibility of hosting an event at Madison Square Garden.

(New York is the lone state where professional MMA is illegal in the country. However, it appears that may change in the very near future.)

Here are highlights and quotes from the press conference and Q&A:

Conor McGregor

Asked if he has mentally affected Jose Aldo on this press tour: “I’m not worried about getting under his skin. I am going to take off his head.”

On jumping up a weight class: “If I leave and go to the 155 lb. division, the featherweights go back to the prelims.”

His message to the champion: “Tell Jose, he better be prepared to die because I will be prepared to kill.”

Asked if he’s interested in doing films and television shows: “F-ck show business, this is the fight business.”

On his fashion: “I saved this suit for NYC, yeah. This is a business suit. Ireland, we literally built this city.”

His prediction for the fight: “The contest will be decided within the first four minutes.”

Jose Aldo

Describing his competitor’s style: “Conor is a fan of mine. He has copied me every step of the way.”

Jose Aldo vs Conor McGregor

Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor face off

Robbie Lawler

Explaining his calm demeanor: “It’s nice to be a part of this. I’m a laid-back guy … so it’s nice to have Conor and Aldo putting on a show for the fans. But come July 11, I’m putting on a show.”

Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald face off

Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald face off

Dana White

On the company’s rise: The first quarter of 2015 was the best in UFC history. This fight will be the biggest of the year.”

Asked about the UFC in NYC: “If this gets legalized, I’ll see every single one of you at the Garden in December.”

Plans for their headquarters in Las Vegas: “We break ground in June and will be ready the following June. We will shoot The Ultimate Fighter (reality show) on site … there’s going to be a huge rehab facility on site.”

Asked if MMA gets legalized in New York, will he bring a bigger card then UFC 100 and a fan expo: “You better f-cking believe it my friend.”

Powered by WordPress.com VIP