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Watch McGregor, Diaz nearly come to blows at UFC 196 faceoff

Conor McGregor poses on the scale during the weigh-in for UFC 194 in Las Vegas on Dec. 11, 2015. McGregor is a featherweight champion fighting a lightweight opponent at the welterweight limit Saturday, March 5, 2016, at UFC 196. Yet the charismatic Irish superstar doesn’t consider this unusual matchup with late replacement Nate Diaz to be particularly dangerous or daunting.
Conor McGregor poses on the scale during the weigh-in for UFC 194 in Las Vegas on Dec. 11, 2015. McGregor is a featherweight champion fighting a lightweight opponent at the welterweight limit Saturday, March 5, 2016, at UFC 196. Yet the charismatic Irish superstar doesn’t consider this unusual matchup with late replacement Nate Diaz to be particularly dangerous or daunting. The Associated Press

The blows between Conor McGregor and Stockton’s Nate Diaz nearly started two days early.

At a newsconference Thursday for UFC 196 at MGM Grand Hotel, the welterweights stood toe to toe for a few seconds before McGregor (19-2) slapped away the outstretched arm of Diaz (18-10), triggering a tense moment as UFC President Dana White pulled Diaz away and security got involved.

The trash talk between the fighters continued, with McGregor telling Diaz to “dance” for him.

Even with less than two weeks to promote Saturday’s bout in Las Vegas, McGregor’s promotional sparring with Diaz might make the new main event bigger than McGregor’s original matchup with lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos, who pulled out with a foot injury.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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