Conor McGregor vs. Cowboy Cerrone Fight Confirmed for UFC 246 in January

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2019

UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship ) fighter Conor McGregor smiles during a news conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. McGregor announced that he will fight an undisclosed opponent with the event expected to happen in Las Vegas, USA, in January 2020.  (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Pavel Golovkin/Associated Press

Conor McGregor is back. 

The UFC superstar will make his return to the Octagon on Jan. 18 at UFC 246 in a welterweight matchup against Donald Cerrone, according to Brett Okamoto of ESPN.

"Conor has signed and Cerrone is ready to go," UFC President Dana White said. 

It will be just McGregor's third fight at welterweight. He fought Nate Diaz twice at the weight class in 2016, splitting the series. 

He also hasn't fought since 2018 at UFC 229, when he was submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov in a lightweight title fight. That fight became infamous for what happened after the match, when fights broke about between the two fighters' camps. McGregor was ultimately suspended six months for his part in the ordeal, while Nurmagomedov was banned for nine months. 

The 31-year-old McGregor (21-4) remains one of the UFC's most controversial figures, both for his brash and outspoken personality and his legal history outside of the Octagon. McGregor pleaded guilty to punching a man in a bar in April, paying a fine. He is also being investigated in Ireland for two separate accusations of sexual assault, though he has not been charged. 

And McGregor agreed to a plea deal in July 2018 and pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after attacking a bus in the week of UFC 223. As a part of the plea deal, he had all felony charges against him dropped. 

In the Octagon, however, he's long been one of UFC's best draws and top fighters.

Cerrone, 36, is 36-13-0 (1 NC) in his career. He has the most wins (23) and finishes (16) in UFC history, though he's never won a title belt. He's also lost his last two matches, though on name recognition alone, the fight between McGregor and Cerrone should be an excellent draw for the UFC.

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