Press Conferences are a huge piece of selling events in combat sports. Pressers put fighters on a pedestal for members of the media to ask them questions relevant to the upcoming fight. The reality of the matter is that majority of fighters are far from skilled public speakers. When difficult or controversial topics come up, things can often spin out of control. Additionally, fighters often square up with each other for pictures at these conferences and this can very well be a recipe for disaster. The most recent example of this was at the UFC Summer Kickoff event with Michael Chiesa and Kevin Lee. In honor of these two hot heads, we will run down the top 5 press conference scraps of all time.
5. Michael Chiesa and Kevin Lee
This argument between Chiesa and Lee escalated quickly with a few references from Lee in regards to Chiesa’s Mom. It makes the list at number 5 because although it wasn’t the most climactic scrum, it is one of the few presser fights in MMA that didn’t look completely scripted. MMA scraps usually end with men half the size channeling amazing strength to hold back highly trained fighters double the size…aka they’re scripted. In this instance, Lee quickly lands a straight right to everyones amazement and thus lands the odd couple at number 5 on the countdown.
4. Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier
The most famous “brawl” in UFC Press Conference History lands at number 4 with Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. The bad blood between these two is real and based on poor Dave Sholler’s face when Bones manhandles him to get at Cormier, this scrap was as real as it gets. Much like when they met in the Octagon, Jones got the better of the scrap, but this one had everything from strikes landed, a takedown, a few sweeps, and even a post fight celebrations by JBJ.
3. Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis
At number 3 we have the most unpredictable man in combat sports history, Mike Tyson, and Lennox Lewis. This is arguable the most famous press conference scrap in history and many may argue it deserves the top ranking of them all. The massive Lennox Lewis looked to be strictly business, but Iron Mike wasted little time in trying to attack him. Lewis looked very prepared for the confrontation and lands a solid right that likely would have killed any other man it hit in the crowd. Tyson channels his inner mixed martial artist soon after and scores what looks to be a takedown and unleashes his signature bite on the long leg of Lennox Lewis. This is a moment press conference security will never forget.
2. Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales
Continuing with boxing in our number 2 spot is Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales. Two of the smaller fighters on our countdown came up big in their press conference (technically post press conference) brawl. The man most deserving of a sucker punch to the face, Don King, sums up the scrap perfectly calling it “misguided emotionalism”. Great vocab Don, sad that people only remember you for being such a scumbag. Barrera hit Morales with a sly little sucker punch before Morales returns with a lethal 2, 3. Much like their trilogy in the ring, this presser fight was legendary.
1. Riddick Bowe and Larry Donald
The number 1 spot on this list belongs to Riddick Bowe and Larry Donald, hands down. In hindsight, it really only belongs to Riddick Bowe because Larry Donald turned out to be nothing more than a punching bag on this day. I am not sure what Donald said to Bowe to push him to the point of attempted murder but I have to imagine it is something I am not allowed to repeat even on the internet. No matter how many times I watch this clip, I am still amazed by the pop that is made when both Bowe’s hands unleash on Larry Donald’s grill.
There you have it, the top 5 press conference scraps of all time. Everyday people argue Boxing vs. MMA in every way possible but if one thing is for sure, Boxing press conference fighters are far better than MMA press conference fighters.
P.S. Krazy Horse and Christiano Marcello fighting backstage in Pride trumps all, but I am a firm believer everything Pride happened on a different planet, so I disqualified the organization as a whole. I will leave you with this gem though…