10:06 GMT +314 November 2019
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    Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Conor McGregor gestures during a news conference in Moscow, Russia, October 24, 2019

    Conor McGregor Sets the Date for Comeback to UFC After One-Year Absence, Promises Khabib Rematch

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    Conor ‘The Notorious’ McGregor last set foot in the octagon in September 2018, in a widely-publicised and highly-entertaining fight that saw him submit to Russia’s Khabib Nurmagomedov in the fourth round.

    Conor McGregor has announced that he will be coming back to the octagon in three months, wrapping up over a year out of competition.

    Speaking at a press conference in Moscow on Thursday, McGregor said his return will take place on 18 January at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas – the place where he last fought.

    “I’m in prime physical condition,” the Irishman boasted, saying he has already agreed the date with the UFC, which is yet to comment. “As far as the opponent, I have the opponent’s name, but for me, the game I am in and from experience, if I was to give you people the name … the UFC would flip it. Because they’re a crafty company.”

    Afterwards, McGregor said, he would face off the winner of the 2 November UFC 244 main event between Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal.

    He added: “Then I will seek [a] Moscow bout and it will be against the winner of Tony Ferguson – Khabib Nurmagomedov … that is the bout we want. We want this bout in Moscow.”

    Tony and Khabib have been scheduled to fight four times in the past four years, but the proposed super bout got cancelled each time due to weight cutting-related issues and last-minute injuries. The next date is still yet to be announced.

    Conor hasn’t fought for over a year now, since his fight with Khabib at T-Arena at UFC 229 where he lost via a fourth-round submission. The match ended in an ugly brawl between the two camps, prompting the Nevada State Athletic Commission to suspend Conor and Khabib from sports for six and nine months, respectively.

    Conor, a former two-division champion, said he was retiring from mixed martial arts in a shock statement in late March, only to announce a comeback a week later. He said he was planning to fight Justin Gaethje in New York in July, but picked up a hand injury in sparring, which stretched his hiatus for several months more.

    He has since been active on social media, in his true fashion, trading barbs with bitter rival Khabib and calling repeatedly for a rematch. The undefeated Russian grappler, who retained in a lightweight championship bout against Dustin Poirer at UFC 242 last month, has so far been reluctant to agree to meeting Conor in the octagon again. Khabib's father, however, has recently said that his son could face Conor in Moscow, but only after a fight with Ferguson.

    McGregor said at a press conference in Ukraine on Wednesday that the UFC kept putting off his return. “I was trying to get the Dec. 14th card, for whatever reason they’ve been holding me back. I’m giving them dates, I’m saying I want to fight this date, this date, this date, this date in a row, and we had opponents selected and everything and they’re just making it very difficult for me for whatever reason," he claimed.

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