Conor McGregor on Thursday unveiled the exact date for his UFC return in January, but was less than forthcoming on the opponent.
Currently on a promotional tour in Ukraine and Russia, McGregor announced at a press appearance in Moscow that he would return to the UFC on Jan. 18, 2020. He didn’t reveal the opponent, whose name he has locked down, because he felt the UFC might “flip it because they are a crafty company.”
“I would like to announce the return of ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor will take place on Jan. 18 in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada,” said McGregor.
“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. 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.
“So for me, here’s this one, ask the UFC who the opponent is because I do not give a f— who the opponent is. Jan. 18, the return of ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor. Twelve weeks this Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.”
It’s already been more than a year since McGregor last fought. In a press conference earlier in the week in Ukraine, he said the reason for the delay was because the UFC was holding him back from fighting. With a specific date, but unnamed opponent, apparently inked, McGregor is planning for a busy future in the Octagon.
“(Jan. 18) will be the beginning of my season. I will then look to compete against the winner of Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal for the Bad Motherf—er title. Obviously, I have history with Nate Diaz, we are set to have the trilogy bout. We will see how that one goes, I feel Nate will get the better of that one and then we will contest the trilogy bout,” McGregor added.
Masvidal and Diaz square off in the UFC 244 main event on Nov. 2 at Madison Square Garden in Las Vegas.
“Then I will seek (a bout in Moscow) and it will be against the winner of Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nur… Nurmagomedov… I can’t even say the guy’s name. Who gives a f— 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. I will have no injuries, I will have no alcohol, I will have no outside influences and I will be fully focused…exactly what the people deserve, exactly what the fans deserve and we will settle it once and for all.”
After declaring his desire for the winner of Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson, which has yet to be scheduled, the Irishman went on a rant about Nurmagomedov before moving on to other topics.
“He is afraid of the Moscow bout for whatever reason. I’m not sure, does he represent Russia? I don’t think he does represent Russia. I have never seen the man represent Russia in my life. Have you ever seen the man raise a Russian flag like I raise the Irish flag… with pride? I have never seen it once in my life. He is running from the bout in Moscow. The public want it, the people want it, his own father wants it. He does not want it, he wants to bring a man down to a weight he has never competed at before, even though he himself has almost died making that weight.
“He is afraid of risk. A man who fears risk will conquer nothing long lasting, there will be no longevity in his career, as he does not take risk at all. His last opponent (Dustin Poirier) was a former featherweight, which I knocked out in 90 seconds. I knocked that man out in 90 seconds and it took him three rounds to get the job done. This is an inevitable rematch, we know this, we know it’s happening.
“He can run, and he does run. It’s in the nature of the Dagestani man to run. Every great Russian knows this about the Dagestani men. Every Chechen knows this about the Dagestani men. They run and they cower.
“That’s it, and that’s what you’re seeing with Khabib, he is running and he is cowering away like he did in Brooklyn when I showed up that day. It’s an inevitable rematch. I will tell him this: you can run, but you cannot hide. You see him last week, or whenever it was, he ran out of the press conference. He scurried out of the press conference here in Moscow. It’s in his nature, but trust me, I am coming for him.
“But forget him for the minute, like I said, Jan. 18 – the return of a fully focused ‘Notorious’ Conor McGregor will take place in the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada. Ask the UFC who the opponent is because I do not give a f—.”
Conor McGregor’s announced UFC return at Russian press conference
(Courtesy of TheMacLife)