Conor McGregor Is Returning To Fight Cowboy Cerrone On January 13
As reported by ESPN's Brett Okamoto, Conor McGregor will finally, finally make his long awaited return to the Octagon after more than a year away from the UFC.
Dana White went on record to say that The Notorious would, after years of the two trading verbal barbs, step into the arena at UFC 246 to face Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone, with the two meeting in the welterweight weight class. This is a significant step up for McGregor, who has won UFC titles at both Lightweight and Featherweight.
"Conor has signed and Cerrone is ready to go," White said.
Breaking: Per Dana White (@danawhite), Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) has signed to face Donald Cerrone (@Cowboycerrone) at UFC 246 on Jan. 18, at welterweight.
"Conor has signed and Cerrone is ready to go."— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) 28 November 2019
McGregor previously made headlines by teasing that he was due for a fight on December 14, leading many to think that he might actually be fighting for the first time in front of a home-town crowd in Dublin. However plans seemingly shifted last month as that date approached, with Conor himself revealing that an opponent and a place had been set in place for his next fight, but he wasn't able to reveal it, confirming only that his return wouldn't be a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
"I wish to compete here in Moscow, Russia. We know that, we know what belt I'm seeking in Mother Russia. The people of Russia deserve this inevitable rematch [against Nurmagomedov] to take place here in Moscow and it will happen," McGregor said. "However, I'm not waiting around for that man. That man is a known pull-out, a known fearer of risk. He does not take risk so I'm not waiting around."
"As far as the opponent, I have the opponent's name, but from experience if I was to give you the name I know the UFC would flip it because they are a crafty company," he added. "So ask the UFC who the opponent is, because I do not give a f**** who the opponent is."
There's no doubt that McGregor needs a win against Cerrone to re-establish himself as a credible threat in the UFC, having gone down convincingly to Nurmagomedov following the two-year-gap in which he fought (and lost) a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. If he can get the win though, McGregor seemingly has big plans, aiming to reach the top with blockbuster fights against both the winner of Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal's fight, and a fight in Moscow against Khabib.