The UFC’s biggest possible fight is finally official.
At today’s 25th Anniversary Press Conference from Los Angeles, California, the promotion announced that former lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor will make his awaited UFC return against current lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event of October 6’s UFC 229 from Las Vegas, Nevada.
McGregor has been out of action since he won the title with a second-round stoppage of fellow former champ Eddie Alvarez at 2016’s UFC 205, a title he was eventually stripped of due to inactivity, allowing “The Eagle” to swoop in and win it by defeating short-notice foe Al Iaquinta at April’s UFC 223.
By far the biggest star in MMA, McGregor instead spent the past two years boxing Floyd Mayweather Jr., a fight where he lost but gained a reported $85 million payday. It’s been debatable if that huge windfall of cash was beneficial to his fighting career, as he’s since careened on a concerning downward spiral of entitled and even criminal behavior. First, he stormed the cage at a Bellator event last fall, shoving ref Marc Goddard and slapping a security official, and then he, of course, stormed the Barclays Center prior to UFC 223 to throw a metal dolly through a bus containing Nurmagomedov.
McGregor was arrested on assault charges in Brooklyn but recently cleared his name, so to speak, with a plea deal, paving the path for his long-anticipated title fight with the undefeated champion to be finalized.
So the UFC’s biggest star – and so-called savior – is officially back at the time they need him most. Will he be able to dust the undefeated Dagestani wrecking machine like he has so many other top combatants in the Octagon?