‘This Will Be A Multi-Million Dollar Payday For Donald’ – Conor McGregor And The Best of UFC 246 Media Day

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Presented in partnership with UFC 246 on ESPN+

Las Vegas, Nev. — Sure, UFC 246 media day was all about main event fighters “The Notorious” Conor McGregor and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, and their January 18 Pay Per View main event on ESPN+. But, it was also about the remaining fighters on the card.

Fighters with relatively big names like former champions Holly Holm and Anthony “Showtime” Pettis discussed their upcoming bouts on the UFC 246 PPV main card on ESPN+, while and former title challengers Claudia Gadelha and Raquel Pennington addressed pivotal bouts in their careers. And then there were lesser known fighters like Diego Ferreira and Aleksei Oleinik, who are well regarded deep inside the combat sports bubble, using their place on this Conor McGregor approved event to discuss all the big fights on the UFC 246 main card.

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So read below, and take a look at the best moments from UFC 246 media day, and make sure to follow our Instagram stories for all the latest coverage from UFC 246 fight week in Las Vegas.

Conor McGregor

“Let’s be real. It’s the McGregor Multi-million dollar fight club, right? Donald’s next up. This will be a multi million dollar payday for Donald. Going from a couple of hundred thousand — I mean talk about the records and the amount of times this man’s made that walk and he’s never hit the seven figure mark,” commented McGregor. “Now he’s gonna hit the multi-seven figure mark. so, I’m very happy with that. Very proud of that. I’m proud of the position I’m in. You best believe they’re all — all their eyes are lighting up when “The Notorious’” name is mentioned.”

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Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone took a shot at PETA

“I guess if killing humans was legal, I could probably wear a badass human jacket, but (laughs) I got a white buffalo at home P.E.T.A and when she croaks, I’m gonna wear a … legendary white buffalo cape out one of these days. At the ranch, I have a lot of animals: turkeys, goats, chickens, pigs; we kill them and butcher them. We eat them all ourselves, and we use every bit of them, so it’s not like — I don’t just go down to the store and buy beef. We raise it, and kill it, so if there’s anything inhumane or unjust about raising and killing my own meat from my own sake, P.E.T.A., you fucked up. Granted, I didn’t raise the snake or kill the snake to build a python jacket, but god damn it was  … cool, so I had to wear it.”

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Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (who fights Diego Ferreira on the UFC 246 PPV main card on ESPN+)

“If someone calls me out, I’m interested.”

“I’m happy for ‘Cowboy.’ It’s awesome to see him get that opportunity. The way Conor’s treating it. I love it. It’s about respect. It’s about martial arts. We all know they’re gonna fight on Saturday, so all the rest of the stuff is not necessary.”

“If you’re not good at trash talking, don’t talk trash. Conor’s good at it, so it’s entertaining and it’s fun, but when you get all these guys trying to follow his lead and they don’t know how to trash talk and it just sounds stupid. So, I’m like, ‘be yourself’ if that’s who you are, that’s who you are.”

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“I fought ‘Cowboy’ and I chose to fight him southpaw for a reason. I saw holes in his game. I’m sure Conor sees the same thing, but the later the fight goes, the more chance ‘Cowboy’ has. ‘Cowboy’s’ underrated on the ground for sure. I heard him say he’s not gonna wrestle him, so we’ll see what happens.”

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Holly Holm (who fights Raquel Pennington on the UFC 246 PPV main card on ESPN+)

“I think making the transition, some of the hardest things are just breaking some of your habits. In boxing, we train so much long long range, we also train inside boxing when your back’s against the ropes you kind of throw those inside shots, even move around to trap someone in a corner, in a ring, that’s kind of different. But in MMA, if you’re that close with someone, a lot of times, they’re just gonna clinch with you, shoot on your legs. There’s lots of different things that can happen in that boxing range, and that was one of the biggest habits I had to break, coming in to MMA, was I would feel so comfortable inside, I would wanna like keep boxing, throwing uppercuts and hooks and things like that. And, all of a sudden they, like, drop on my legs, and you can’t do that. Or they clinch on you. So I think that was one of the biggest things, just kind of to adapt to that range.

“One of the things that I felt like I had under my belt moving from boxing into MMA was that I also had an amateur kickboxing background, and I had trained my entire boxing career out of an MMA gym. So, I was more familiar, so I felt like things I could pick up along the way  … It’s very very hard to get all the disciplines in a short amount of time. It takes a lot of mat time. Even if you can pick something up right away, and you learn in right away. It still takes time to actually know that you are going to respond at the right time when something’s happening in MMA. You might know the escape, but are you actually  gonna like do it in time before you get choked out? Well, see, I didn’t do the right things that I should before and I’ve learned a lot. I put a lot of time in and I’m so much more comfortable now.”

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Raquel Pennington (who fights Holly Holm on the UFC 246 PPV main card on ESPN+)

“I wrote that blueprint the night that she got her hand raised. This for me is a fight that’s been in the making for five years now. I’ve been patiently waiting, regardless of how long it took and stuff, so for me it’s just about where I’m at, what I can focus on, and my tactics. I’ve broken down Holly in multiple aspects. I’ve shared the Octagon with her. But, regardless of the stats, I know the type of fighter I am. I know the type of fighter that she is. I know the motivation and the hard work that’s gone into this fight, so that first fight was a huge controversial decision, and I watched it multiple times and it just fueled me. So, Saturday, my hands are getting raised this time.”

Claudia Gadelha (who fights Alexa Grasso on the UFC 246 PPV main card on ESPN+)

“I started training when I was 14 years old. I left my hometown, I went to a big city. From there, I went to another big city, where I lived for 10 years. I lived 10 years of my life in Rio de Janeiro. I trained in Nova Uniao, with guys like Jose Aldo, Renan Barao, we were a big, massive team, we had in one time 16 fighters in the UFC, and two champions, and I was fighting for the title. I am deep, emotionally connected to people, and I had to leave Brazil to come to the States because I wasn’t happy with my training in Brazil anymore.

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“Then, when I moved here, I was trying to find the perfect place to live, right? I was living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil then I moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. And, I was happy with training, but I wasn’t happy with my personal life. So, this big transitions in my life made me lose my motivation, and trying to get that back was kind of like a challenge, and I had tough fights between all of that going on in my life, til I moved to Vegas and I see amazing people in here. Like, this place breeds freedom, and I love freedom. So I love Vegas. I love people here. I love the PI. I love training here.

“And in the other side, I fly to New Jersey for fight camp, and I have a camp with guys like Mark Henry, Ricardo Almeida, Frankie Edgar, all these people helping me out. And, I feel like I’m deeply connected to these people again and motivated again.”

Aleksei Oleinik (who fights Maurice Green on the UFC 246 PPV main card on ESPN+)

“Young and old in one cage, and we show each other what we can do.

“There’s a different level here because when I was young I learn everything. Now, I learn only most important information because I can’t learn everything now. Yes, I have my favorite style my technique, but I can’t learn new technique very, very well because I need to [practice] many, many times for that.

“I have so big, so good technique. My technique enough for 95-percent, 99-percent for my opponent in martial arts, but Gordon Ryan learn every time only grappling, and this time he was better. But, next day we meet together with Gordon Ryan, and train together and grapple together and second time I was a little bit better. You can ask him.”

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Diego Ferreira (who fights Anthony Pettis on the UFC 246 PPV main card on ESPN+)\

“It’s my birthday. Saturday. Yeah. 18th. And I’m really excited for that too.

“Today I was thinking about it a little bit more, but the whole week I was not thinking so much about my birthday. But today I think I took more time to like relax and sit down, and I think now, it’s gonna come to me, ‘oh, damn, Saturday is my birthday’ and it’s special. It don’t make a difference for me, it’s just special because of the moment I have. I have a great moment right now to fight on a big event like this.”

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The UFC 246 PPV main card on ESPN+ begins at 7 p.m. PST / 10 p.m. EST on January 18. Conor McGregor takes on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in the main event.

UFC 246 PPV main card (ESPN+)

  • Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone
  • Holly Holm vs. Raquel Pennington
  • Aleksei Oleinik vs. Maurice Green
  • Claudia Gadelha vs. Alexa Grasso
  • Anthony Pettis vs. Diego Ferreira

UFC 246 Preliminaries (ESPN 2) 5 p.m. PST / 8 p.m. EST

  • Maycee Barber vs. Roxanne Modafferi
  • Andre Fili vs. Sodiq Yusuff
  • Tim Elliott vs. Askar Askarov
  • Drew Dober vs. Nasrat Haqparast

UFC 246 Early Prelims (UFC Fight Pass) 3:15 p.m. PST / 6:15 p.m. EST

  • Justn Ledet vs. Aleksa Camur
  • Brian Kelleher vs. Ode Osbourne
  • Sabina Mazo vs. J.J. Aldrich

*Fight Card Subject to Change

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Dan Shapiro is a writer, editor, musician, and producer currently based in Los Angeles. In addition to covering some of the biggest fights in combat sports history, he’s also hunted down the world’s best sushi, skied the northern hemisphere in July, and chronicled Chinese underground music for publications like CNN, the New York Daily News, VICE, and Time Out. Dan also conjured up a ghost at the Chateau Marmont while out on assignment for RoadTrippers. Follow him on Twitter here.

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