Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone shook hands at the start of the UFC 246 pre-fight press conference.
That was the first hint there's no bitterness between the two ahead of Saturday's welterweight bout in Las Vegas.
"I have respect for Donald," McGregor said Wednesday evening. "He has earned my respect through his activity and through just observing him. He steps up. He goes through divisions also - not many a man in the business does that. He's been around so long."
"It's hard not to respect Donald," the former two-division champion added. "There will be no bad blood here. But there will be blood spilled. Make no mistake about that. That's the beautiful business we're in."
Cerrone trusts he's earned McGregor's respect.
"I don't think he's overlooking me at all," Cerrone said. "He knows exactly who he has standing in front of him."
McGregor, who usually engages in trash talk with his opponents, said he's "happy" with the different lead-up to the Cerrone fight.
"I'm in a good spot," the Irishman said. "We're focusing on the skills here. It's going to be an exciting bout for the fans. It's going to be a lot of attacks, a lot of drama in there no doubt, so we're very eager to get going."