It’s official. Conor McGregor will return to the Octagon and UFC on Oct. 6 in Las Vegas for a now-anticipated fight against undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
UFC president Dana White made the announcement during a news conference Friday (Aug. 3), revealing that McGregor-Nurmagomedov would headline UFC 229 at Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.
For McGregor (21-3), it will be his first MMA fight in nearly two years and first time in fighting action since his professional boxing debut during a heavily-hyped fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. last August — which he lost via TKO in the 10th round.
In the fight, McGregor will be the challenger for the 155-pound title that he relinquished in April due to inactivity. Nurmagomedov (26-0) won the title in April at UFC 223 against last minute challenger Al Iaquinta in a dominating performance that ended with a unanimous decision.
“This is a very important fight for both fighters,” Dana White said. “For Khabib, who is undefeated and who is looked at as one of the best fighters in the world, beating Conor is massive for him.
“And obviously for Conor, coming back from a two-year layoff, in my opinion — and it’s crazy to say this because of how popular he is around the world — but he’s one of the most underrated fighters in the UFC. Everybody thinks because he speaks so well and gets so crazy and everything, it makes him sort of less of a fighter. It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.”
In addition to McGregor’s return, another UFC great is set to return. His name is Nate Diaz.
The UFC star has been booked to fight lightweight Dustin Poirier at UFC 230 on Nov. 3 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Oddly, Diaz later tweeted that he actually won’t be fighting as part of the card. When asked by ESPN about Diaz’s tweet, UFC White said: “I have no idea (what that means).”
I’m not fighting on that show fuk the @ufc
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) August 3, 2018
The fight will be Diaz’s first since August 2016, when he lost a majority decision to Conor McGregor.
Poirier (24-5, 1 NC) has won his past three fights. He most recently defeated Eddie Alvarez by second-round TKO.