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The Return of Conor McGregor


At a press conference in Moscow on Thursday, “The Notorious” Conor Mcregor stated that he will be making his return to the octagon on January 18th in Las Vegas. This will be the first time the former two-division champion has fought since his submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 over a year ago.

McGregor said he knows who the opponent will be but that he does not want to reveal the name because the UFC would “flip” it. Instead, he told the press to ask the UFC for the name, and that he does not care what his opponent’s name is. The frontrunners for the matchup are believed to be Donald Cerrone and Justin Gaethje, with the former being the most likely. This fight makes sense for Connor’s return, but he has plans which extend far beyond Cerrone.

“That will be the beginning of my season,” McGregor said at his press conference. “I will then look to compete against the winner of Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal.” He’s pegged Nate Diaz to win that bout at Madison Square Garden on November 2nd and hopes to complete his trilogy with Diaz later in 2020.

After potentially defeating both Donald Cerrone and Nate Diaz, McGregor has plans for another shot to reclaim the UFC lightweight belt. The next matchup for the lightweight division title will be between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov in early 2020, a bout which McGregor thinks Khabib will prevail in. He believes his fight with Khabib is “an inevitable rematch” and “a fight the world deserves”.

With plans for three bouts next year, including two fights that would involve two of McGregor’s biggest rivals, the future looks enticing for him as well as the UFC. The matchups with Khabib and Diaz were three of the UFC’s largest pay-per-view draws in history. It’s feasible to say “The Notorious” can achieve the same heights he did before, but his first fight in January is going to be a big test.

McGregor has not won in a fight since he defeated Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 back in 2016, a night which saw him become the first UFC athlete to hold two belts simultaneously. In 2017, he stepped away from the sport to compete in a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. He lost by TKO in the 10th round, but still earned close to $100,000,000 despite the fact. In this time frame, McGregor was stripped of his two belts and never defended them.

In the year since his loss to Khabib, McGregor has been a media pariah of sorts, finding himself involved in multiple assault and sexual assault allegations. With a three-year gap from his last win and a year filled with struggles, many wonder if McGregor will have the same mentality and skillset that helped him rise to the top of the mixed martial arts world.

McGregor disagrees with the notion that he will not be ready and swears to return to his previous form. “So now I am coming back and I’m fully committed. And I am eager to come back and show the best of myself for my fans around the world.”

“The Notorious” will look to prove this statement in January and make a triumphant return to the octagon. This is exciting news for the UFC and its entire fan base, as McGregor singlehandedly launched the fighting organization to new heights and acquired a large die-hard fan base.

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