While in Moscow, former featherweight and lightweight champ Conor McGregor announced his return to the UFC, which he says will take place January 18, 2020.
Conor McGregor, in the midst of a media tour promoting his Proper 12 whiskey (and all things Conor McGregor), wants fans to know he’s returning to action. And that return will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas this January, the former double-champ says.
McGregor (21–4) made the claims Thursday, while in Moscow. Speaking at the Telegraph Hall, McGregor said that “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.”
But it won’t happen just yet. Instead, said the Irish star, “I am not waiting around for that man. 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 January 18 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.”
The UFC has yet to announce its schedule for the first quarter of 2020, but that date, if accurate, would likely turn out to be UFC 246. McGregor stated the date had been agreed upon with the promotion.
“As for the opponent, I have the opponent’s name,” he added. “But for me, the game that I am in and from experience, if I was to give you people the name as I would love to do, I know the UFC would flip it, because they are a crafty company.”
“So for me, here’s this one. Ask the UFC who the opponent is, because I do not give a f*ck who the opponent is. January 18, the return of ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor. Twelve weeks this Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.”
After that, McGregor sees a path back to glory. “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 Motherf*cker’ title. Obviously, I have history with Nate Diaz. We are set to make the trilogy bout, so we will see how that goes, I feel Nate will get the better of that one, and we will contest the trilogy bout.”
“Then I will seek the Moscow bout, and it will be against the winner of Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. I can’t even say the guy’s name, who gives a f*ck what the guy’s name is. But that is the bout we want, 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.”
McGregor later criticized current champ Khabib for pursuing a fight with Georges St. Pierre, claiming the champ was “afraid of risk” by trying to book a fight with the Canadian, who had never competed at lightweight.
Conor McGregor last fought in October 2018 at UFC 229, losing via submission to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. The loss followed victories over Nate Diaz and Eddie Alvarez, the latter for the lightweight championship, making Conor the UFC’s first simultaneous double champ, as he already held the featherweight title. He was later stripped of both belts for not defending them.
In the midst of all that, McGregor also found time for a boxing match against Floyod Mayweather, the launch of his whiskey, and any number of scandals.
The UFC has yet to make an official announcement regarding Conor McGregor’s return.