Conor McGregor vowed to feast on Nate Diaz's carcass and bury his remains in the Las Vegas desert as the warring pair almost came to blows more than 48 hours ahead of schedule.

McGregor predicted Diaz will follow in the footsteps of Dustin Poirier, Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo in becoming his latest Sin City victim on Saturday night.

And having hogged the limelight during Thursday's press conference, McGregor almost turned the traditional face-off into a full-scale brawl in front of several hundred expectant fans.

With Diaz allowing his hand to linger dangerously close to his opponent's face, the featherweight champion responded by swiping it away.

Advertisement

Security moved in to defuse the situation and both fighters then prowled on opposite ends of the stage before McGregor took his exit.

Earlier, he had said: 'I like Vegas; I've buried three bodies clean out here and Saturday night will be a fourth body. The dirt is clean, you can scoop it up and stuff bodies in there easily so I will continue to do that.

'I'm a lion in there and I'm going to eat you alive. Your little gazelle friends are going to be looking through the cage watching your carcass getting eaten alive and all they're going to say is, "we're never crossing this river again".

'People run scared all the time. I've hunted him down, I've stalked him. And on Saturday night I will eat his carcass in front of all his gazelle friends.

'I'm going to toy with the young boy, I'm going to play with him. His entries and his exits, his retreats, his feints; his patterns are all identical, he can't break out of his routine.

'He is very predictable. People gave Jose the speed advantage but that was a mistake and I think the speed difference will be very, very evident. He's heavy on his lead foot, he's like an injured gazelle. These are subtle tells and I'm going to go in there and play with him.'

McGregor had hoped to add Dos Anjos' lightweight belt to his 145lb version and become the first fighter in UFC history to hold two titles at the same time only for the Brazilian to pull out last week with a broken foot.

And the 27-year-old added: 'There's a lot of people who play it safe in the game, there are many scared p****** in the fight game, they don't take risks and people who don't take risks will never climb to that next level.

'Every single fight I've taken a risk and I'll continue to do so. The fans pay their hard-earned money but people pull out of fights and the other opponent scraps the whole card, only thinking of themselves while they sit in their comfortable homes.

'I appreciate the fans' support. I love to fight; this man, let's see if he can fight. He's talked a lot, he's talked subtly, there's been subtle digs over the years but now as the fight comes closer, he's like a scared little boy, passing the limelight on.

'He said he was going to do this and do that but now that we're up here, he's saying absolutely nothing, he's sitting in a little shell so let's see what he's got.

'He has a bully mentality until a real man shows up. Like Mike Tyson said, he's scared of a real man. He really should be thankful and be grateful for this opportunity I'm giving him.'

Diaz, as during their previous press conference in Los Angeles, was left in the shade as McGregor took centre stage.

And the Dubliner said he hopes to show his travelling support the improvements he has made having required just 13 seconds to dethrone Aldo last December.

'Skill wise I made a big, big jump from the Mendes performance to the Aldo performance, and from the Aldo performance to this one,' he said.

'But I didn't get to show a lot of that because the fight was over so quick.

'Part of me does want to stretch it out a little bit and show the fans some sequences, some new movements and some new forms of attack and defence.

'I just hope Nate can last. I'm hoping he can last until later into the first round and into the second but I'm not holding my breath.

'When I come out fast, spinning and attacking crazy and unpredictable, people shell up and they become panicked. I just hope Nate can show up.'

But while McGregor and Diaz have dominated proceedings this week, the UFC 196 card also features Holly Holm's first defence of her bantamweight title against Miesha Tate.

And in stark contrast to the men they sat alongside, their face-off passed without a hitch.

Holm, who stunned Ronda Rousey with a second-round knockout last November, said: 'My last fight, people said I had nothing to lose and that she had everything to lose but I had put a lot of work in and had a lot to lose.

'Now that everybody's seen my performance, the expectations are even higher but I put the same pressure on myself. I want to do well for my team who have helped me get here.

Tate responded: 'I hate the word pressure because I think it's indicative of something negative. I feel confident in this fight and I feel there's a lot of good energy going into it.

'You have to turn pressure into food to motivate you to do well and I thrive on that. Here I am at the top getting ready to fight for the title again so I welcome it.'

-Daily Mail