September 20, 2018 2:57 pm
Updated: October 5, 2018 8:15 pm

Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov face off ahead of highly-anticipated title fight

WATCH: Khabib to Conor McGregor fans at UFC 229 weigh-in: 'I'm going to smash your guy'


***PLEASE NOTE***: Live event may feature language that some viewers find offensive. Viewer discretion is advised. 

UFC stars Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov are set to come face-to-face for the first time since a violent backstage confrontation involving the pair sent shockwaves through the sports world — and resulted in criminal charges against McGregor.

On Thursday at 4 p.m., McGregor and Nurmagomedov will headline a press event at New York City’s famous Radio City Music Hall to promote their upcoming world title bout at UFC 229.

WATCH: Conor McGregor asks Khabib ‘are you disrespecting your president Vladimir Putin?’

The presence of the outlandish, trash-talking McGregor — already one of the top draws in combat sports today — would have made this event a larger spectacle than the usual pre-fight press conferences.

WATCH: Conor McGregor says he will shatter Khabib Nurmagomedov’s ‘glass jaw’

And that was before last April, when the always-controversial McGregor was at the centre of what UFC President Dana White called “the most disgusting thing that has ever happened” in the history of his promotion.

READ MORE: Conor McGregor pleads guilty in NYC brawl case, avoids prison as part of deal

On April 5, McGregor and members of his entourage were involved in a backstage melee during another UFC press event at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center, when they attempted to physically assault members of Nurmagomedov’s entourage.

WATCH: UFC star Conor McGregor sentenced to community service after New York City melee

McGregor was allegedly trying to get at Nurmagomedov, already a heated rival of his in the fight game, because the Russian had been involved in a hotel altercation with fellow fighter Artem Lobov, who was a close friend of McGregor’s.

WATCH: Conor McGregor explains why he called Khabib’s father a coward in an Instagram post

Video of the incident shows the Dublin native and his entourage tossing trash cans and guard rails at a bus that was carrying many of the fighters who were scheduled to compete in the event later that weekend.

WATCH: Cellphone footage shows Conor McGregor smashing through bus window at UFC event

McGregor and his entourage were let into the Barclays Center by credentialed media members with The Mac Life, McGregor’s website and YouTube channel, Dana White later revealed. He said the approximately 20-strong group made their way to a loading dock area where fighters were getting on buses to go back to their hotel after the press conference.

READ MORE: UFC 231 set for Toronto this December

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UFC lightweight fighter Michael Chiesa suffered cuts to his face and head, while women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas narrowly avoided being struck.

“What happened [that day] was criminal, disgusting, despicable, makes me sick and we as an organization need to make sure that this never happens again,” White told reporters just hours after the violent backstage fracas.

McGregor would later turn himself in to authorities, and was arraigned the following Friday on charges of felony criminal mischief charges and misdemeanour assault, menacing and reckless endangerment.

He was released on US$50,000 bond.

WATCH: Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov face off in press conference ahead of UFC 229

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