Conor McGregor announces January UFC return but won't reveal opponent

McGregor announces his comeback at a press conference in Moscow (Photo by Stanislav Krasilnikov\TASS via Getty Images)

Conor McGregor has announced he will be returning to UFC action in 2020 with a fight pencilled in for January 18.

The former featherweight and lightweight champion has been out of action since losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov in a bad tempered bout in October 2018 but is set to make his long-awaited comeback in Las Vegas in the new year.

“I would like to announce the return of ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor will take place on January 18th in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada,” said McGregor, speaking at press conference in Moscow. “So, that is my comeback fight, it’s 12 weeks this Saturday. I’m in prime physical condition, I’ve agreed the date with the company.

He added “As far as the opponent, I have the opponent’s name, but for me and the game that I’m in, and from experience, if I was to give you people the name - which I would love to do - I know the UFC would flip it because they are a crafty company.

“Ask the UFC who the opponent is because I do not give a f*ck who the opponent is. January 18th, the return of ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor.”

Despite his opponent as yet unnamed, the Dublin-born fighter is already eyeing up future bouts including a potential rematch with Nurmagomedov. However, McGregor would like to first complete his ‘trilogy’ with Nate Diaz should the American get the better of Jorge Masvidal.

McGregor was tapped by Diaz in the second round of their March 2016 fight before getting the majority decision in their rematch five months later.

“Obviously, I have history with Nate Diaz, we are set to have the trilogy bout. We’ll see how that one goes, I feel Nate will get the better of that one and then we will contest the trilogy bout.”

The 31-year-old then took aim at his bitter rival stating his desire to go toe-to-toe with the Lightweight Champion once again.

“Khabib Nurm...Nurmagomedov...I can’t even say the guy’s name...who gives a f*ck what the guy’s name is, but that is the bout that we want.

“We want this bout in Moscow, the people of Russia deserve this bout to take place, the people of the world deserve this bout to take place. It is an inevitable rematch. It is a rematch that I will come in sharp, fresh.”

The chaotic aftermath of Conor McGregor's defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov last October. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The first encounter between the two ended in infamy following the Russian’s dominant fourth round submission victory. Members of both fighters’ camp were involved in a huge post-fight brawl resulting in both men banned and fined.

Months prior to the fight, McGregor was ordered to perform community service but escaped jail time for throwing a dolly at the window of a bus containing Nurmagomedov and other UFC fighters.

In March this year, McGregor was involved in an altercation in Florida with a man, reportedly taking his phone and smashing it on the ground, although criminal charges were eventually dropped.

More recently, he was charged with assault after a video obtained by TMZ appeared to show the fighter punching a man in a pub in his native Dublin.

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