1. ITV Report

UFC star Conor McGregor entertains thousands of fans in Manchester

Conor McGregor greets thousands of fans. Photo: Nathan Damour

By Jahmal Williams-Thomas

Conor McGregor was in Manchester on Saturday evening as he entertained a capacity audience in an exclusive one-night-only event at EventCity in Trafford Park.

The UFC Lightweight Champion took to the stage, decorated with a Rolls Royce, for an intimate interview with acclaimed Mixed Martial Arts journalist Ariel Helwani.

McGregor with his trademark Rolls Royce Phantom Credit: Nathan Damour

Before the event kicked off, guests were treated to a three course meal and music provided by the State 51 Swing Orchestra followed by a live auction of luxury signed sports items to raise money for charity Destination Florida. The event was also streamed online to a pay-per-view audience.

Helwani started things off by introducing McGregor to the energetic crowd who responded with a deafening roar. The pair then began to talk about McGregor holding titles in two different weight classes simultaneously and the controversy surrounding it.

McGregor in conversation with MMA journalist Ariel Helwani. Credit: Nathan Damour

He claimed he still holds the belt in two weight classes despite the UFC stating they have stripped him of the featherweight title: “I’m still two weight world champion make no mistake about it. The [UFC] featherweights are praying I don’t come back”.

He also took a shot at the UFC earlier in the evening with a controversial Instagram post.

They went on to discuss a potential boxing showdown with Floyd Mayweather with McGregor last month receiving a boxing licence from the California State Athletic Commission.

McGregor looks out into the 5,000 fans in attendance. Credit: Nathan Damour

McGregor seemed to all but confirm that the bout will take place saying:

“'I'm going to go to Las Vegas, get my boxing licence and then we see where Floyd's at. I have my eyes on one thing and that's Floyd Mayweather”.

– Conor McGregor

When asked about a potential time for the fight McGregor said: “I believe it will happen by the end of this year or early next year.”

On the same night, Mayweather also seemed to confirm the same during a television interview in Las Vegas claiming “It’s the only fight that will get me back in the ring.”

McGregor turned his attention to his personal life as he revealed that he and girlfriend Dee Devlin’s baby will be a boy, stating: “I’m a world champion fighter but for the first time in my life I’m nervous. I hope that being a father calms me down a bit as I want to focus on being a good father and spending time with my son."

The floor was then opened for questions from the audience, after which fans with a premium package could get photos with the Irish showman and attend a themed nightclub in the venue.