Conor McGregor to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov on UFC return in Las Vegas

first_imgConor McGregor will return to the Ultimate Fight Championship (UFC) on October 6 in Las Vegas in a title bout against lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.UFC dramatically announced the title matchup on Friday with a promotional video to close a news conference, which was called to promote the matches for the rest of 2018.”The fight is done,” UFC President Dana White said.McGregor (21-3) simultaneously held the featherweight and lightweight championship belts during his meteoric UFC career but hasn’t fought inside the octagon since November 2016, when he went head-to-head against Eddie Alvarez in a match for the 155-pound lightweight belt. Infact, McGregor hasn’t competed in any way whatsoever since losing hi boxing match against Floyd Mayweather in August 2017. Following that, his UFC lightweight title was stripped and subsequently claimed by Nurmagomedov in April.McGregor and Nurmagomedov will now face-off in the main event of UFC 229 pay-per-view show at the T-Mobile Arena, the same place where Mayweather stopped McGregor in the 10th round of their one-sided prizefight. McGregor was under legal troubles after throwing a hand truck at a bus containing UFC fighters (Reuters Photo)McGregor also has resolved his legal troubles after throwing a hand truck at a bus containing UFC fighters during a one-man rampage last April at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Nurmagomedov was the intended target of McGregor’s wrath after a previous spat between the fighters’ camps.Nurmagomedov (26-0), who wasn’t actually on the bus, won the vacant lightweight belt by beating Al Iaquinta in Brooklyn two days after McGregor’s attack, which injured uninvolved fighters Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg. McGregor was arrested, but was sentenced last month to perform five days of community service, avoiding jail time in a plea deal.advertisementNurmagomedov, the Dagestan-born Russian champion, has been one of the pound-for-pound greats of MMA when healthy, racking up 10 consecutive victories since joining the UFC.THE WAIT IS OVER. News (@UFCNews) August 3, 2018McGregor and Nurmagomedov weren’t at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles along with the other headlining fighters of the autumn cards, but the announcement of their bout set off wild cheering among the fans.Nurmagomedov is a formidable challenger for McGregor in a return from a 23-month break in MMA competition, but McGregor has never backed down from a challenge.Once McGregor resolved to return to the octagon earlier this year, Nurmagomedov was the obvious choice to be his next opponent but the biggest obstacle to this bout appeared to be money. Negotiations for this bout dragged on for many weeks while McGregor argued a highly lucrative deal, even demanding an ownership stake in the UFC in exchange for returning to the cage, and Nurmagomedov also asked for a hefty raise.White didn’t disclose terms of the deal that was reached. McGregor didn’t immediately react to the bout announcement on social media.Earlier in the news conference, the UFC also promoted the long-awaited return of Nate Diaz, who memorably split two bouts with McGregor in 2016. The popular Diaz (19-11) hasn’t fought since that majority-decision loss to McGregor in August 2016, but he agreed to fight Dustin Poirier in a lightweight bout in New York at UFC 230 on Nov. 3.”It’s time to go, so it’s time to go,” Diaz said.Although Diaz alluded to unspecified legal troubles that kept him out of action, the veteran brawler also had waited two years in hopes of getting a highly lucrative third fight with McGregor.Diaz didn’t seem happy about the surprise announcement of McGregor’s next bout.”I’m not fighting on that show,” Diaz tweeted moments after stepping off stage, adding an expletive directed toward the UFC.(With inputs from AP)last_img

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