The trash talk at the UFC 196 press conference boiled over on Wednesday with Nate Diaz accusing Conor McGregor and every other fighter on the roster of using steroids.
Diaz took aim at McGregor during an exchange about the weight class where the two fighters will meet next weekend in Las Vegas. McGregor was originally scheduled to fight a lightweight but he bumped up to 170 pounds for the matchup with Diaz.
"I don’t care about weight," McGregor said. "The only weight I give a f–k about is the weight of them checks. My checks are always super heavyweight!"
Diaz then responded with his steroid accusations as he painted McGregor into the same picture as every other fighter in the UFC.
Everybody’s on steroids. The whole UFC. Everybody.
— Nate Diaz
"They’re all on steroids. Everybody," Diaz said. "Everybody’s on steroids. The whole UFC. Everybody."
McGregor didn’t take too kindly to Diaz’s proclamation, especially after he fought for additional drug testing for his last fight against Jose Aldo. McGregor has spoken numerous times in favor of more drug testing for UFC athletes so it was a touchy subject when he was accused of wrong doing.
"Steroids? Don’t be talking about steroids. Don’t be putting my name in steroids," McGregor shouted. "I majored against that. Don’t put my name in with steroids, Nate."
While Diaz had no problem pointing fingers at the whole UFC roster for alleged steroid use, McGregor quickly turned the tables on the veteran lightweight competitor.
UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz pre-fight press conference
McGregor reminded Diaz that two of his own teammates have actually been suspended in the past for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.
"Your teammate Gil (Melendez) and Jake (Shields) were two caught on steroids. Not me," McGregor said. "I’m not on no steroids. What the f–k are you talking about? Your two teammates were on steroids. Your two boys. The Skrap Pack. Remember that? What happened to them? Did you know they were taking that stuff? Did you?"
Melendez actually tested positive for "exogenous origin of testosterone metabolites" following his fight with Eddie Alvarez last June before he was suspended for one year. Shields faced a six-month suspension in 2012 for using a banned diuretic, which can be used in weight cutting and/or the production of more urine to dilute doping agents in a drug-testing sample.
Shields no longer fights for the UFC.
McGregor may have hit close to home because Diaz’s only response after that was one more accusation aimed at the featherweight champion before he put his microphone back down on the table.
"You’re on steroids," Diaz said to McGregor with a smirk on his face.
In response, McGregor could only laugh while giving Diaz the real explanation for the talent he showcases in the Octagon.
"Sure I am," McGregor said. "I’m just an animal."
Following the conclusion of the press conference, TMZ actually reached out to UFC president Dana White about Diaz’s controversial comments. White obviously denied Diaz’s wild outburst and pointed out that the UFC instituted a massive drug testing overhaul last year in association with the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
"The UFC unquestionably has the best drug testing program in all of sports," White said. All done by the United States Anti-Doping Association. If you are cheating, you get caught."