All those pandemic MMA adjustments we’ve gotten used to, and you know one thing I don’t think I ever heard anyone say? ‘Man, I really miss those big press conferences with booing fans and various jackass media members who may or may not have any clue what they’re talking about.’
Turns out, yeah, we could just totally do without those. But with UFC 270 bringing two title fights to Anaheim, guess we had to remind ourselves just to be totally sure.
If you missed this particular pre-fight shit show, here, let us go ahead and fill you in on some of the more notable stuff to save you from having to sit through all 46 minutes and 59 seconds.
1:30: Naturally Francis Ngannou is going to show up looking like a page of Esquire, while Ciryl Gane decided to go with jorts, a sweatshirt, and a ball cap with the California state flag. It’s like he thought he’d have to time to go back to the hotel and change but traffic was bad so he had to come straight from an Orange County mall.
3:05: Ngannou assures us there’s no bad blood with Gane, a claim that is slightly undermined by the fact that they’ll spend the next four and a half minutes arguing about whether or not Ngannou knocked Gane out with a head kick in sparring or merely dazed him.
7:30: At last, this argument has concluded with both men agreeing to fight each other for the UFC heavyweight title on Saturday night. Glad we got that all worked out.
8:20: Brandon Moreno begins playing music from his phone into the mic. Mmmkay.
12:20: Deiveson Figueiredo begins what will turn out to be a sustained and poorly received verbal attack on Moreno with the acccusation: “Brandon Moreno crybaby. Is crybaby, motherfucker.”
12:45: Moreno has decided to reply to these attacks by making fart noises into the mic. Say this for him, he understands the UFC audience.
14:45: Okay, now this next part is pretty rigoddamndiculous. Some “reporter” gets on the mic and asks UFC President Dana White the following question: “With all the cryptomania happening at the moment, I was very happy to see that the UFC have now released their NFT collection. I was just wondering if basically you could elaborate a little bit on what the collection is and why it’s such an exciting opportunity for UFC fans around the world.”
Seriously, that’s his actual question. Word for word. And you know what the most incredible part is? White, after thanking this joker for the “lob,” tells him he’d rather just talk about the fights and they can discuss NFTs another time. Is this because White, like the rest of us, can’t really even explain what an NFT is or how it’s in any practical sense different from a jpeg that you pay money for even though others can right click and save that shit for free? Maybe. But the key takeaway is, this credentialed media member reached for the brass ring of shameless brown-nosing … and got shut down. That’s got to sting.
18:50: Figgy is still at this, man. Still trying to shit talk Moreno. Still getting mostly booed by the crowd each time he does it. Moreno, who has mostly just been rolling his eyes and banging his head on the table in bemused frustration, finally asks: “Do you really think this is working on me?” It’s like he actually wants to know.
19:30: You know who is genuinely working his ass off, though? Figgy’s interpreter. He has to keep translating the shit talk into English, even when it means interrupting Moreno as Figgy intends, and he also has to keep talking louder and louder to be heard over the boos.
20:15: Figueiredo outlines a plan to beat Moreno for the flyweight title, then celebrate in Moreno’s home country of Mexico on his honeymoon. Moreno, ever the good-hearted lad, replies that he should definitely do that because Mexico is a beautiful country and a great place to vacation.
21:45: Now someone is asking Figgy about his entrance music for this fight, which will apparently be an original song about him or some shit. This prompts Figgy to get his phone out so he can try to play it for us, which, Jesus Christ no, don’t do that.
24:12: The same person is now asking Ngannou to plug the UFC NFTs and, my god, what the fuck is this? Look, I get that the whole idea behind this and every pre-fight UFC press conference is that it’s a big commercial for the event itself. But now that alone isn’t good enough anymore? We must use the opportunity to plug every other little thing too? And media members are just there to play the role of the people in the infomercial who ask, ‘but does it also slice and dice?’ Fuck, man. That’s bleak.
27:15: Ngannou would like to correct you on a fact. He and Gane? They were never teammates, he says. Gane, of course, takes issue. So we’ll spend the next few minutes debating what the definition of “teammate” actually is. CAN YOU FEEL THE (MOSTLY PRETTY POLITE) HEAT?!??
30:30: Figgy says he’ll give Moreno a LEGO belt, since the guy likes LEGOs so much. Moreno: “Man, I saw the last one and it’s so ugly. I don’t need the Lego belt from you. Thank you so much.” Daaamn. He basically said you and your whole crew got trash LEGO skills, dog. Then he ended it with a thank you just to further rub it in.
34:00: Now we have come to the portion of the press conference where members of the French media take turns trying to antagonize Ngannou. Seems like the Frenchies are all in the tank for Gane here…
34:45: Holy shit. Some motherfucker in a denim shirt is now trying to make a Mike Tyson comparison with Ngannou, pointing out how many first-round knockouts Tyson had in his boxing career and suggesting that Ngannou’s complaints about pay might somehow be solved if he could win this one in the first two minutes.
Bro. Monsieur. What the fuck are you even talking about. First of all, you realize this is Ngannou, right? His whole thing is knocking people out with his superhuman punching power, often very quickly. That’s been his deal for a while now. But you don’t get paid more for winning in the first two minutes. In fact, one of the things that hurt Tyson’s pay-per-view sales was people’s certainty that they wouldn’t get more than a minute or two worth of action for their money. So how did you convince yourself that money would magically flow into Ngannou’s bank account if only he could finish some fights slightly faster?
36:00: Denim guy, strongly implying that Ngannou is ungrateful to his former team in Paris: “You don’t recall MMA Factory in your process anymore?” Okay, so this guy is just a dick then. Got it.
38:55: More arguing between French media and Ngannou. And you know what? He’s not having it. Ask the question in whatever language you like, but if Big Fran hears you mischaracterize his past statements he will call you out.
42:50: Even Dana has had enough of this bullshit now. Time to snap some faceoff photos and get the hell out of here.
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