As expected, news arrived this morning announcing that Conor McGregor would avoid jail time for accepting a plea deal in conjunction with his April bus attack in Brooklyn, New York.
With his legal troubles out of his way, for the most part, focus immediately (and justifiably) shifted to when and where he’ll finally return to mixed martial arts (MMA) action, presumably against rival and current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The undefeated Dagestani was the target of his over-the-top Brooklyn melee, sparking the heat for a perceived showdown between the two top lightweights in the near future. So not surprisingly, “The Eagle” immediately issued a callout to McGregor and his team in a statement to MMAjunkie:
“Glad that he stayed out of jail, because I wouldn’t be able to punish him in that case. Now he needs to bring his Irish team to (Madison Square Garden) in November and finish our business.”
Nurmagomedov followed the statement with an Instagram post, asking McGregor to simply send him the location for their fight:
The two stars have been rumored to be facing off at October 6’s UFC 229, but it appears “The Eagle” is now aiming for November 3’s UFC 230 in New York, a growing pay-per-view (PPV) card that carries an obvious backstory behind it.
It’s where McGregor last fought in the UFC when he won the lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez at November 2016’s UFC 205 to become the first simultaneous two-division champion in UFC history, and it’s also where his assault on Nurmagomedov went down earlier this year.
The fight carries the potential to be one of if not the highest-grossing match-ups in UFC history, and it’s one the UFC obviously needs in a big way as pay-per-view buys and television ratings continue to sink through the ground for the struggling promotion.
The stage appears to be set for 2018’s biggest fight; now all that’s left is to finally get it signed. But as we’ve seen with McGregor, that’s easier said than done.
Fingers crossed, fight fans.