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Conor McGregor set for UFC return

The Irish MMA star previously hinted at a comeback and Dana White confirmed he had signed a contract to compete.

Conor McGregor (file pic).
Conor McGregor (file pic).
Image: USA Today Sports/Stephen R. Sylvanie/INPHO

Updated at 10.12

CONOR MCGREGOR IS set for a return fight in the UFC.

UFC president Dana White told ESPN that the company are close to finalising a non-title welterweight bout between McGregor and Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, which is set to headline UFC 246 on 18 January at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The Irish MMA star previously hinted at a return and White confirmed he had signed a contract to compete.

It has also been confirmed that American fighter Cerrone’s representatives have put pen to paper on a deal for the fight.

“Conor has signed and Cowboy is ready to go,” White told ESPN.

The fight will be the Dubliner’s first since UFC 229 in October 2018, when he submitted in the fourth round of a bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov.

McGregor (21-4) hasn’t won a fight since November 2016, when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez to claim his second title.

He is a former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion, while Cerrone (36-13) holds the UFC record for most wins and finishes in the company’s history, but comes into the fight on the back of a knockout loss suffered at the hands of US fighter Justin Gaethje in September. 

It has been a turbulent few years for McGregor away from the sport. The 31-year-old has been involved in a number of controversies, the latest of which saw him fined €1,000 for a Dublin pub assault.

36-year-old Cerrone previously urged McGregor to “sign the deal” which was on offer.

“I think it’s gonna happen this time,” Cerrone told TMZ Sports in October. “I really do. Conor’s really serious about making a comeback.

“Both teams have reached out and are trying to figure it out, it’s looking good though. This would be a huge fight, I don’t understand why his team wouldn’t want to be engaged.

“It’s gonna be a fun fight! He’s a great fighter. I’m not taking anything away from him by any means, he’s got a lot of punching power and it should be a good time.

“Sign the damn deal, man, let’s get this done!”

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Paul Fennessy

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