McGregor and Jeremy Stephens both took part in the UFC 205 Press Conference in 2016, which is where McGregor uttered the famous “who the fook is that guy” line, but McGregor says he knew who Stephens was the whole time.
“Of course I knew who Jeremy was,” McGregor said to UFC Europe (via Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie). “Jeremy is a good fighter. He’s a former lightweight, down to the featherweight division. (He has) good power in his hands. But that timing was just impeccable there, and that was it. You don’t really think about these things – you just go off the cusp and just have a bit of fun in there. I was in a great spot there. (I) just avenged my loss against Nate Diaz. A lot of hard work went into that. And then I was preparing for the second world title bout and was just in a great spot mentally, physically. I don’t know – (it) just rolled off the tongue and clattered ol’ Jeremy into the cheek.”
Stephens did fire back against McGregor after the infamous line during the press conference, but there was nothing Stephens could say that would’ve topped what McGregor had said.
UFC 246 takes place on Saturday, January 18 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.