Conor McGregor shows softer side as UFC star faces off against furry rivals on Russian talk show (VIDEO)
Former two-weight UFC champ Conor McGregor has stared down some of MMA’s most feared beasts, but it all proved too much for the Irishman as he came face to face with animals of a different kind on a Russian talk show.
McGregor was in Moscow this week for a high-profile series of promotional events, but used the time to announce his plans for an octagon return in January followed by two further fights next year – targeting a Moscow rematch with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov as the last of those.
An eventful trip to the Russian capital in which he was mobbed by fans but also had a bottle thrown at him by a disgruntled Dagestani man was capped by an appearance on ‘Vecehrny Urgant’ – one of Russia’s most popular talk shows.
Hosted by Ivan Urgant – who gives the show its title – the pre-recorded episode went out on Friday night on Russia’s Channel One.
After teaching Urgant how to do his signature strut when emerging onto the stage, McGregor sat down to discuss his visit his fighting career as well as family life.
Inevitably, the topic of Russian UFC foe Khabib Nurmagomedov came up, with host Urgant noting that the Dagestani fighter has never appeared on his show, then asking McGregor to send a message into the camera imploring him to do so.
“Khabibi, if you are looking for my location it is right here, in your own country,” McGregor said, then putting his feet up on the table. “You don’t want him on this show,” the Dubliner added.
But the final segment of the show was perhaps the most enjoyable for McGregor, as he was asked to demonstrate his famous face-off technique, but with a twist.
Instead of facing off against UFC rivals, McGregor was asked to stare down various animals pulled out by Urgant, starting with a guinea pig.
Trying his best to keep a straight face, even a man as notoriously cock-sure and belligerent as McGregor eventually melted into a smile before patting the pet on its head.
Similar face-offs followed with a puppy and kitten as McGregor failed to keep a straight death stare, instead petting the animals, although ‘The Notorious’ did momentarily keep a straight face when presented with a Russian doll, and finally a mirror to gaze at his own reflection.
You can watch the interview in full below (with Russian dubbed over McGregor's answers), starting from the 23:15 mark.