It's been nearly a year since Conor McGregor's last UFC fight, but don't be surprised to see him in the Octagon at some point in 2020.
UFC President Dana White recently told TMZ Sports that McGregor is expected to fight "early next year":
McGregor has not fought since going head-to head with Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October 2018. Nurmagomedov won that clash via fourth-round submission—and then chaos ensued.
A brawl broke out at Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena, with Nurmagomedov jumping out of the cage to confront McGregor's team. The event proceeded to spiral out of control both inside and outside the Octagon.
McGregor was suspended six months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and fined $50,000. He was eligible to fight again April 6. However, before that date arrived, he announced he was walking away from MMA:
Conor McGregor @TheNotoriousMMA
Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as “Mixed Martial Art” today. I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition. I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement. Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!
Approximately one week later, he said he was looking to get back in the Octagon:
The 31-year-old raised some eyebrows Sept. 15 when he tweeted out a date and location:
Though he did not explain the meaning behind the tweet, there was speculation that it could mark his return to the UFC. White, however, not only said 2020 was the anticipated return date but also noted a potential fight would be held in Las Vegas, not Dublin.
For fans hoping to see a McGregor-Nurmagomedov rematch following the events of UFC 229, it's a "possibility down the road." White added that McGregor will likely fight someone else first, while a Nurmagomedov-Tony Ferguson clash could also be on tap.