Ireland's McGregor, 30, is returning to the Octagon after nearly two years out and having lost a boxing fight to Floyd Mayweather in August 2017. There must be a McGregor fight going on. "Right now, I am most active and dominant UFC champion", Nurmagomedov said during a NY press conference. "If somebody is late that's his problem".
Nurmagomedov took the stage at the Park Theater at exactly 3 p.m. for a scheduled news conference with McGregor and UFC president Dana White.
McGregor, known to be notoriously late for such gatherings, blamed his late arrival on traffic.
"Saturday night: You're in for a show, trust me on that", he told the crowd.
Earlier, Nurmagomedov had sat on the podium for 10 minutes waiting for McGregor to arrive before walking out. "I have to focus on my weight cut".
"I did not plan this, I'm only a few minutes late".
McGregor is 2-2 in his last four fights - including the boxing match against Mayweather - and just how big any future paydays will be will largely depend on how he does against Nurmagomedov, the Russian who used to wrestle bears as a youth and who has not lost in 26 MMA fights.
Susan Collins will vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court
Rice tweeted a little later that she was "not making any announcements" but was "deeply disappointed" by Collins' vote. Vice President Mike Pence planned to be available on Saturday in case his tie-breaking vote was needed.
McGregor and Nurmagomedov's fight at the T-Mobile Arena has been billed as the biggest in the UFC's history as the Irishman looks to make a statement against the person who succeeded him as 155lb champion.
Later in the press conference, McGregor was asked if he expected Sunday's fight to be the one and only time he'd face Nurmagomedov inside the Octagon. "I think Conor wins".
Nurmagomedov, who is 26-0 and making the first defence of his title on Sunday, believes he's ability to stay composed in the face of McGregor's wild taunting has the former champ anxious.
"I feel like I'm going to dominate him". We saw the staredown in NY (at last month's press conference), I want to see the staredown (on Friday). "Get that man into the sauna and cook him like the little chicken-jaw rat that he is". I will go into heavy detail. He doesn't want to be around these people. This man is an absolute monster on the canvas and there's no other way to put it, with his wrestling being viewed as his biggest attribute in this or any other fight. I'm going to aim right between that man's eyes and this is never over. "This is never over; never, ever, ever over".
Tony Ferguson's return is crucial to the lightweight division; Derrick Lewis and Alexander Volkov could be fighting for a title shot at heavyweight; and there are some interesting prospects throughout the card.
Abdelaziz's only public reaction to McGregor's accusations Thursday was to post a tweet with emoji crying tears of laughter.
That would obliterate the previous highest UFC record of 1.65million buys for McGregor's rematch against Nate Diaz in 2016.