Returning superstar McGregor spoke excitedly about the Louisiana-style hot sauce which takes Poirier’s name, adding that he had been “impressed” by the progress the American had made since losing to him in little more than a minute in 2014.

Despite that praise, McGregor admitted that he did not expect to be tested by Poirier as he seeks a challenge that can take him further than Donald Cerrone did a year ago, when his victory took 40 seconds.

“You’ve got the hot sauce?” McGregor asked Poirier in a jovial exchange between the pair who will clash on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

“I’d love to taste the hot sauce. I’ve got to taste it first, though. I don’t put my name to something unless it’s proper, the finest.”

Poirier promised he had a bottle of the fiery condiment, which trades for $12 a pop, ready. “You’ll taste it on Sunday morning and then I’ll give you a bottle,” he pledged, before explaining that McGregor would be backing his charity.

“McGregor Sports Entertainment did reach out to my team foundation. We have huge plans for that. You’re going to help a lot of people with that.”

Pleasantries and his inexhaustible willingness to plug his whiskey brand aside, McGregor assured a rapt press conference that he believed he could “hit and possibly hurt” Poirier from the off again and “get him out of there early”.

“He’s put in the hard work,” he observed. “I’ve been impressed, I think the whole business has been impressed.

“After that loss many, many years ago he rose up, became champion, he’s given so much back.

“That fire is there and there’s no denying that it’s going to be a good clash, a fire-filled bout, but the respect is admirable for this man, for me.

“I have a million shots. I have so many weapons in my arsenal, all fine-tuned. I’m in a phenomenal place.

“I keep showing up here. Someone’s going to be able to stay with me and I hope it’s this Saturday night.

“Do I think so? I do not. I am in some shape here and I am coming to put on a masterpiece, so I’m excited.”

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