Former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor has announced his intentions to return to fight on Saturday, January 18th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
During a press conference in Moscow, Russia, the 31-year old stated his plans of fighting on that date, which he did not list an opponent for. McGregor stated the UFC “would flip it” if he revealed the opponent. ESPN reports the top two candidates are Donald Cerrone and Justin Gaethje with Cerrone as the frontrunner.
McGregor added that the January 18th fight would be the start of his “season” with plans to challenge the winner of the November 2nd bout between Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal followed by a fight against the expected lightweight championship fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson.
McGregor is picking Diaz to defeat Masvidal and wants the lightweight title fight to take place in Russia.
Ariel Helwani of ESPN added that McGregor had been pushing to fight Frankie Edgar on December 14th but that wasn’t a fight the UFC was interested in. The December 14th pay-per-view already has three championship fights scheduled. Helwani reported that the UFC had no plans for a pay-per-view on January 18th until this scenario came of McGregor fighting presented itself.
The UFC has yet to make an official announcement on the January 18th card or McGregor’s return.
McGregor has lost fought at UFC 229 in October 2018 where he was stopped by Khabib Nurmagomedov. Since that fight, McGregor has been embroiled in legal issues, the most alarming being two sexual assault investigations linked to McGregor with the second one reported this past weekend by the New York Times. McGregor is also set for a hearing next week regarding the incident at a pub in Ireland this past April where camera footage showed McGregor striking a man seated at the bar.