Yes, you read that headline right. A UFC press conference came to a sudden halt Wednesday afternoon when Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz's camp started throwing water bottles at one another.
Because nothing says summer (or UFC main event) quite like a water fight.
Other media outlets will just put the video for you to watch without comment, but I'm not like other media outlets.
Therefore, for your viewing and reading pleasure, I will give you the most detailed analysis of the altercation — designed to help inform those of you who missed out on this magic (or were just plain confused by the whole thing).
The Press Conference Begins Without A Familiar Face...
Ever the trooper, UFC President Dana White trots out Diaz, Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, and Glover Teixeira into the David Copperfield Theater, all while doing his best to ignore the obviously-missing featherweight champ's empty chair.
MISSING CHAMPION? WHAT MISSING CHAMPION?
Dana starts the press conference chipper, doing his normal "what up, Vegas" routine, hoping his good-will might possibly help to derail the inevitable first question.
NATURALLY, THE FIRST QUESTION IS "WHERE'S CONOR?"
That provokes this familiar Dana White face, which reads, "you fucking kidding me?"
Dana informs us that Conor is on his way, he's just going to be late.
But it does not look like that is sitting well with the baldfather this afternoon.
DANA CHANNELS HIS INNER BLUES BROTHERS TO EXPLAIN HIS FRUSTRATION
A visibly angry Dana White tells reporters that Conor needs to be more respectful.
More respectful to "you, me, them, everybody... everybody."
Press Row Attempts To Make Due With The Rest Of The Folks On The Panel
So a set of reporters go about their normal song and dance, with questions coming from our sport's finest sources of information.
Mr. Hides-Behind-Their-Camera-Man Man
Mr. Grossly Overestimates The Effectiveness Of His Cell Phone Guy
And, of course, Chris Angel.
AND IT WAS MOSTLY BUSINESS-AS-USUAL...
"I'm gonna beat his ass."
"He's making excuses."
"mmmmdmmdm" (Roughly translated from when Diaz mumbles)
THEN THE DIVA DECIDED TO SHOW UP
Dana does his best job to mask his "I can't quit you" bro smile, as Conor takes a seat.
AND IT'S CLEAR, CONOR IS ON AUTOPILOT
Conor blames his lateness on Vegas traffic, before launching into his normal shtick of press conference bullet points:
"Let me see his full camp, now that he's been talking shit."
"You know when I fight you're going to get a show."
"Press conferences are now stupid*"
*note: press conferences, which made his career in the beginning, are suddenly not advantageous for him any longer.
AND THAT'S WHEN THINGS STARTED TO GO SOUTH
The gentleman pictured above asks a perfectly reasonable question: asking Nate what he thought about the possibility of Conor returning to 145 without granting him an immediate rematch if he happened to lose this Saturday.
Which prompted a big, "WUT?" from Diaz.
Dana, realizing the guy's query might have been too long to keep Diaz's interest, chimes in and asks the guy to repeat his question.
So he does.
Once the reporter repeated the question (at 1/4th the speed and with each syllable perfectly articulated), Diaz gave us the kind of eloquent response we've come to expect from this gifted rhetorician.
"They're trying to make an escape route."
Naturally, that didn't sit well with The Notorious.
Conor replies by saying, yes, he's got some business at 145 to attend to after this fight (or as Dana said earlier in the conference, "he either goes back to 145 or vacates the title"), but that a trilogy between himself and Diaz is definitely in the cards.
So imagine everyone's surprise when the camera pans out at the end of Conor's response and it has become apparent one of the fighters on stage decided they were ready to leave.
The next time we saw Nate, he was on the floor, doing pretty much the coolest walk known to man. One that's part gangster lean, part "throw your hands in the air."
But definitely all #209.
If you can't tell by the GIF above, trash talk between the Diaz and McGregor camps continued to escalate. Conor, still on stage with mic in hand, refers to Nate and his brother Nick as a couple of "crackhead esés."
And that's when things got weird.
You can see the security thinking, "okay, if we just get him to the door, everybody will calm down and nothing bad can happen."
Sadly, security did not get their wish for a civil exit.
Some back and forth trash talking continues until the proceedings hit a fever pitch, and Diaz decides to launch a water bottle directly at McGregor — who responds in kind, by grabbing all of the bottled water and Monster energy drinks he can find and rushes back toward the edge of the stage.
All the while, Dana pleads with Conor not to throw those cans, with the timbre of his voice resembling that of a dad seeing his kid about to lose his shit at an amusement park and being helpless to do anything to stop it.
Meanwhile, former altercation piñata, UFC Vice President of Publicity, Dave Sholler is sent to run interference and "calm" Conor down.
Dana, now channeling his inner Gordon Ramsay, begins yelling to "shut it down," as Glover and Anthony look entirely confused by the whole thing (as if almost wondering, "yo, we aren't in trouble, too, are we?").
Conor, likely overhearing Dana's commands to end the press conference, begins pleading with Sholler to let him go back out there and talk*.
Because he now suddenly cares about this press conference.
*Let the record show, "Let me talk" is the new "Let me bang, bro"
Now the only thing left to do, is for Dana to throw up the deuce, and signal for this press conference to end — all while likely wondering why the hell he didn't sell his full share of the UFC a few weeks ago.
So What Did We Learn?
Well, given the UFC's track record of saying they don't condone this sort of behavior, while also making it the cornerstone of their video marketing efforts, it's likely nothing will really come of this. At least from them.
Same goes for the governing athletic commission, especially when you consider this was the quoted response from a representative from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Also, it's pretty clear that the Diaz brothers started the fight by throwing the first water bottle. This footage, released shortly after it was all said and done, shows the altercation from Diaz's POV.
Diaz gave his side of the story to the guys at UFC Tonight, seeming to blame the whole thing on McGregor's track record of being a diva when it comes to promotion.
Conor, however, described his reaction as one of self-defense and even "jokingly" claimed that he was "scared for his life."
Given Conor's disparaging statements on professional wrestling this week, one can't help but notice the larger-than-life method of creating a controversy — a storyline that would seem right at home in the WWE universe on Monday Night RAW.
Nonetheless, there are some who would call this melee a publicity stunt to drum-up more interest for the fight.
But if this thing was legitimately a spontaneous shoot, then I suppose we have to give some fair credit to the Diaz brothers, who may have just won the mind-game portion with this expertly-timed trolling video from Nick just moments after #watergate.
The video seems all the more suspect when you consider the word on the street is that Nate's brother Nick instigated the whole thing.
Of course, we all got a good laugh at the absurdity of the whole proceedings.
Here are just a few of the great things to come as a result of this incredibly stupid event.
And remember folks, we haven't even made it to the weigh ins yet. For all the latest about #UFC 202, be sure to stay with us here as we'll keep you updated all weekend long.
Should you be interested in watching the entire press conference detailed above in full, check out the video below.