Conor McGregor is back and fight fans are excited.
The biggest name in UFC, the Irish superstar's absence from the sport that few people, if any, could possibly fill.
A highly anticipated comeback has been touted for some time, with UFC boss Dana White confirming the news that fans were desperate to hear.
‘The Notorious’ will mark his return to the Octagon against popular veteran Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in January, 2020.
"Conor has signed and Cowboy is ready to go," White told ESPN.
The two are set to square off at UFC 246 on January 18.
The McGregor announcement comes hot on the heels of news undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather - whom the Irishman was convincingly beaten by in 2017 - is set to make a comeback to the fight game in 2020.
News of former two-weight UFC champion McGregor’s UFC comeback has been gathering speed, with Cerrone quickly firming as the favourite to fight him.
Confirmation of the fight has set tongues wagging in the fight world.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) November 28, 2019
Yo @TheNotoriousMMA it’s about time he is back baby let’s get ready for Jan 18th thanksgiving just became awesome
— kevin farrell (@kevfarrell) November 28, 2019
— Butler⚒ (@butler__1995) November 28, 2019
— luke sheridan (@luke_sheridan_1) November 28, 2019
CONOR MCGREGOR VS COWBOY CERRONE AT UFC 246 LETS GOOOOOOO
— Robo-Phoenix: Master of Tweeting (@micah_gj) November 28, 2019
OHHHHH CONOR MCGREGOR EOSNSHSISJDJDJD THE GOAT IS BACK https://t.co/oi7cCIOCsv
— Ghost (@Fenomxno) November 28, 2019
— Ross Edmonds (@RosssEdmonds) November 28, 2019
McGregor’s (21-4) fight will be a non-title welterweight bout and will mark the Irishman’s first UFC fight since last October’s submission defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov that ended with a post-fight melee in the Octagon.
It will be McGregor’s third fight at 170 pounds after splitting a pair of fights at welterweight against Nate Diaz. He has also fought at 145 and 155 pounds.
For Cerrone (36-13), it will be the first fight in a new exclusive deal that he has signed with UFC, according to the report.
McGregor eyeing 3 fights next year
McGregor said when he announced his return that he wants to fight three times in 2020 and named the winner of the Diaz-Jorge Masvidal BMF bout as his next target following UFC 246.
Masvidal defeated Diaz by TKO in November to win the title of “Baddest Mother F---er” and has since speculated that McGregor isn’t truly interested in fighting him and only wanted to complete a trilogy with Diaz if the American had won.
McGregor also said that he wants to take on the winner of the Khabib-Tony Ferguson lightweight title fight that was recently scheduled for April in Brooklyn.
Either of those fights require a lot of unknown factors to fall into place. Between McGregor’s fickle track record — he’s fought just once since 2016 —and his multitude of legal problems, little is guaranteed beyond UFC 246.
But for now, McGregor-Cerrone is a done deal.
With Yahoo Sports US