Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier were kept at arm’s length for their final face-off – before the Irishman reiterated his vow to “kill” his long-time rival.
The lightweights will clash for a third time tonight to settle their beef and establish the next 155lb title challenger.
And after McGregor kicked out at Poirier at Thursday’s press conference, UFC president Dana White was taking no chances 24 hours later.
The Dubliner was itching to edge closer to his opponent but was kept at bay before he doubled down on his promise to end the rivalry once and for all.
“In 16 hours time this man is going to learn if you take a person’s kindness and take it as a weakness, you must pay,” he said.
“Tomorrow night I’m going to make this man pay with his life and I mean it. You are dead in that Octagon tomorrow night!”
McGregor was referring to a promise he made to donate $500,000 to Poirier’s foundation before their rematch in Abu Dhabi six months ago.
The cheque failed to materialise and Poirier took to social media to call out McGregor while riled him enough to instead donate the same sum to another charity in Louisanna.
But Poirier has been unruffled by his opponent’s antics all week and dismissed his threat as “noise”.
Earlier, both men had scaled the non-title lightweight limit of 156lb to ensure the fight went ahead.
McGregor had promised to come in one pound heavier than he was six months ago and delivered, weighing in 15 minutes after Poirier who weighed the same as he had in the Middle East.
McGregor is then understood to have been involved in a verbal altercation with replacement opponent Rafael Dos Anjos who also scaled 156lb on Friday.
The pair have history dating back to 2016 when Dos Anjos was scheduled to defend his lightweight title against McGregor before the Brazilian pulled out injured.
After the incident, Dos Anjos tweeted cryptically: “Conor you’re such a snake, sneaking from behind and playing tough. Soon or later we will finish business. I’m not like the guys you play around with.”
There was no such drama for Poirier who insisted he has no desire to hurt McGregor, in. contrast to his rival’s claim that he plans to “kill” Poirier and send him out of the cage on a stretcher.
“And I know Conor was talking crazy yesterday about killing me and all that,” said Poirier. “I go to sleep praying every night that he gets home to his family safe.
“I’m not here to hurt anybody or do anything like that. So I just want to put that out there.”