It looks like McGregor’s return to the Octagon will finally happen, as the former champion says he’ll be back in action on January 18.
“For me, I wish to compete here in Moscow, Russia, we know that. This is known. We know what belt I am seeking here in ‘Mother Russia’. The people of Russia deserve this inevitable rematch to take place here in Moscow, and it will happen. I am not waiting around for that man,” McGregor said at a media event in Russia (via Simon Head of MMA Junkie). “He is a known pullout, a known fearer of risk. He does not take risk. So, for me, I am not waiting around. I would like to announce the return of ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor will take place on Jan. 18 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.”
There is no word at this time as to whom McGregor will face on January 18, but Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports that Donald Cerrone and Justin Gaethje are the front runners.
McGregor also has plans for a few more fights in 2020, including the potential for a few rematches as well.
“That will be the beginning of my season. I will then look to compete against the winner of Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal for the ‘Bad Mother(Expletive)’ title. Obviously, I have history with Nate Diaz, we are set to make the trilogy belt, so we will see how that goes, I feel Nate will get the better of that one, and we will contest the trilogy belt. Then I will seek the Moscow belt, and it will be against the winner of Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. But that is the bout we want (and) we want the bout in Moscow. The people of Russia deserve this bout to take place, the people of the world deserve this bout to take place. It is an inevitable rematch, it is a rematch that I will come in sharp, fresh, I will have no injuries, I will have no alcohol, I will have no outside influences. I will be fully focused, exactly what the people deserve, exactly what the fans deserve, and we will settle it, once and for all,” says McGregor.
It's worth noting that Dana White confirmed that is the target for Conor McGregor's return, but it isn't confirmed yet.
“Yes, we are targeting that date for Conor’s return, but no deals are even close to being signed,” White said.
Dana White, on Conor McGregor's comments this morning regarding a return date of 1/18 in Las Vegas. "Yes, we are targeting that date for Conor's return but no deals are even close to being signed."— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) October 24, 2019
The UFC has yet to announce any dates or events for 2020, but those announcements should be coming within the next few weeks.