Thursday 23 May 2019

Conor McGregor expected to return for UFC title fight before the end of 2018 after court case resolved

Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Conor McGregor exits the courtroom after appearing in the Brooklyn court on charges of assault stemming from a melee, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, U.S., July 26, 2018.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Conor McGregor exits the courtroom after appearing in the Brooklyn court on charges of assault stemming from a melee, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, U.S., July 26, 2018.

Sam Roberts

Negotiations are underway for Conor McGregor to fight for the UFC Lightweight title against Russian champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, with the organisation targeting two potential dates before the end of the year.

McGregor avoided jail yesterday after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct at a UFC event earlier this year, reaching a plea deal that would see him undergo five days of community service and attend anger management classes.

The ruling clears the way for the Irish mixed martial artist to make his UFC return, nearly two years after his last fight against Eddie Alvarez in 2016.

ESPN journalist Ariel Helwani says the UFC are exploring two potential dates, October 6th and December 29th, with both events scheduled to take place in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

"The UFC wants him to return on October 6th in Las Vegas against the current Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov," Helwani told SportsCenter.

"In my opinion the fight between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov would be the biggest in the promotion's history, I think it could do close to, if not more than, 2 million pay-per-view buys.

"At the moment I'm told negotiations are underway, they're in a good place, they continue to progress, but there is no deal done as of right now.

"If they can't get it done for October 6th, they're looking at December 29th in Las Vegas as well, but I'm told Conor wants to return in 2018, they just need to strike a deal."

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