Their bout at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas this weekend has been billed as the biggest in the UFC‘s history.
At the workouts open to the public at the Park Theater, Conor McGregor thrilled those in attendance as he introduced his young son before settling into his routine, predictably focusing on his striking technique.
But it was a different story for Nurmagomedov who had earlier been given a hostile reception from a largely pro-McGregor crowd.
He appeared to cut his session short in order to remonstrate with his foe’s supporters and, as the jeers continued, he insisted he would win them over.
Nurmagomedov said: “Three days. You’re going to like me. I know you’re going to love me.”
The 30-year-old, who put a particular emphasis on his takedowns and wrestling during his programme on Wednesday afternoon, also questioned McGregor’s pride in his Irish heritage.
McGregor mentioned in last month’s press conference about how his ancestors fought the English empire and that his family name was banned for a century by King James.
Nurmagomedov, though, referenced McGregor’s grandfather’s time with the British Merchant Navy.
Nurmagomedov said: “These guys talk about (how) they fight English people but his grandfather worked with the English navy. Now you support (his grandson)? I’m going to change this on Saturday night.
“I have a question for Ireland. What about your language, what about your Irish language? Where’s your language? What’s wrong with your language?
“Are you guys right now with England, you guys change your language. Give me answer someone if you can. It’s very interesting.”
McGregor is looking to make a statement against the person who succeeded him as 155lb champion and he told a cheering audience: “Saturday night: You’re in for a show, trust me on that. I’m going to take his head off. Trust me.
“(It will be a) devastating KO. (Nurmagomedov is) too easy to hit, too flat-footed, too predictable, I’m going to knock him clean out.”
McGregor is returning to the UFC after a near two-year absence against Nurmagomedov, who will make the first defence of the title he won by beating late replacement Al Iaquinta in April.
The Irishman was relieved of the crown because of his hiatus from the octagon, having made a brief foray into boxing to challenge Floyd Mayweather in a highly lucrative contest in August last year.
Now he is back in mixed martial arts for a fight that is seen as a puncher versus a grappler, but McGregor is unfazed by his Russian opponent’s gameplan.
He added: “I don’t give a f*** about anything. Any wrestling, any technique, any anything. I’m coming for that man’s head from the f****** bell.
“It’s good to be back. Let’s go do it. A proper fight, a proper, proper fight.”