Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov both made the lightweight limit of 155lbs to ensure their highly-anticipated title fight would go ahead in Las Vegas this weekend.
UFC 229 has been billed as the biggest event in the company’s history and is forecast to set a new benchmark for pay-per-view buys, so it will be a relief to organisers that its two headliners successfully made weight.
All fighters on the card had a two-hour window from 9am local time on Friday to weigh in and Nurmagomedov turned up immediately to scale 155lbs.
The Irishman is returning to mixed martial arts following a two-year hiatus, having made a brief switch to boxing in the interim period to take on Floyd Mayweather in a highly lucrative showdown.
He earned around 100million US dollars (£76m) from that bout in August last year, prompting questions as to how he manages to retain his desire in mixed martial arts at Thursday’s final news conference.
Conducting his media duties separately to Nurmagomedov after arriving late to the Park Theater, McGregor said: “I’m starving. I am starving for this man’s head. I am going to eat him alive in there.
“There’s no way this man’s hungrier than me, there’s nobody that’s hungrier than me in this game. I don’t stop, I’m too on it, I am 24/7 on this game. I know who the king is and I’m going to show it on Saturday night.”
Nurmagomedov said: “I am angry and a little bit emotional. But my job when I go to the cage is I control my emotions and stay relaxed. I’ll keep going and maul this guy.
“Sometimes the anger helps, but most important I stay relaxed. This is most important and I am ready for this fight.”