LAS VEGAS — No matter what Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo say, no matter how big they talk, this much is true: no one knows what will happen inside the octagon when they finally meet at UFC 194 on Saturday night.
But, if Friday’s weigh-ins inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena provided even just a small glimpse of what the atmosphere will be like on fight night, get your popcorn ready.
And your Crackerjacks, and your Doritos, and your pigs in the blankets, too. You’re in for something. There’s a good chance your television at home will vibrate a little bit as thousands of Irishmen and Brazilians try to out-scream each other in support of their native sons.
Several thousand fans on Friday packed one half of the arena for weigh-ins. Once McGregor emerged from behind the black curtain wearing his all-black Reebok suit, the place exploded.
“I’m sick of talking about Jose,” McGregor said. “I visualize and I look at his facial features and I know that the soft parts of his face won’t be able to take my shots.”
Aldo caught his share of boos from the pro-McGregor crowd waving the Irish flag.
Their staredown was just as intense. Aldo posed in a way to mimic McGregor’s stance as the two fighters needed to be separated by UFC president Dana White and broadcaster Joe Rogan. McGregor even faked a few kicks.
“I don’t care what he has to say,” Aldo said. “The thing is I’m coming in here tomorrow night and I’m going to be the champion.”
Approximately 9,500 fans attended the weigh-ins, the second largest crowd in UFC history for such an event. (The largest was 11,500 for UFC 189 last July, which was headlined by McGregor.)