The Notorious evidently plans to return to the scene of the crime.
Conor McGregor revealed Thursday during a news conference in Russia that he will make his UFC return on Jan. 18 in Las Vegas. He did not disclose who he’ll fight, but sources told ESPN that Donald Cerrone and Justin Gaethje are the top two candidates, with Cerrone being the frontrunner.
This would mark McGregor’s first fight since losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 last October in Las Vegas. That lightweight championship showdown, of course, is best remembered for the postfight chaos that ensued when Nurmagomedov jumped over the cage and attacked McGregor’s corner, sparking an all-out brawl at T-Mobile Arena.
UFC president Dana White confirmed to ESPN that Jan. 18 is the target date for McGregor’s return, but he also explained that “no deals are even close to being signed,” so perhaps the former two-division champion is putting the cart before the horse.
“Ask the UFC who the opponent is, because I do not give a f— who the opponent is,” McGregor said Thursday, according to ESPN.
McGregor plans to fight three times in 2020, with his second fight of the year being against the winner of the UFC 244 main event between Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal and his third fight being against the winner of a potential UFC lightweight title matchup between Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson.
McGregor has fought Diaz twice, losing their first bout via submission at UFC 196 in March 2016 and winning the rematch via decision at UFC 202 in August 2016. He then defeated Eddie Alvarez for the UFC lightweight championship at UFC 205 in November 2016 before temporarily crossing over to boxing for a fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr., which he lost in 10 rounds, and then returning to face Nurmagomedov after nearly two years away from the octagon.
The 31-year-old has dealt with some legal issues in recent months, but insists he’s “fully focused” and ready to return to the top of the UFC mountain.
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