The long awaited showdown between ex-UFC lightweight champ Conor McGregor and current titleholder Khabib Nurmagomedov is finally a reality.
The UFC on Friday announced the blockbuster matchup will headline UFC 229 on Oct. 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The event airs live on pay-per-view.
At a news conference for the promotion’s 25th anniversary, UFC President Dana White and the promotion announced the booking, though neither fighter was in attendance.
McGregor gets his call back to the octagon less than one month after he struck a plea deal with prosecutors over his role in a bus attack at UFC 223, which left two UFC fighters injured. The Irish star avoided jail time and was ordered to perform community service and anger management, among other requirements.
McGregor said his rampage was a retaliation for a previous run-in between his teammate Artem Lobov and Nurmagomedov, who was in the bus at the time of the attack and was restrained by his manager. The Dagestani fighter later invited McGregor and his team to settle things outside the octagon.
Nurmagomedov went on to capture the lightweight title that was stripped from McGregor when he failed to defend the belt. McGregor captured the title in November 2016, becoming the first two-division champ in the promotion’s history, before stepping away from MMA for a spectacle boxing match against Floyd Mayweather. “The Money Fight” reportedly made McGregor more than $100 million.
Money was naturally at the center of talks for the McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov fight. McGregor demanded an ownership share in UFC parent Zuffa, while Nurmagomedov said he’d need a pay raise to face his rival over other worthy contenders.
With the fight’s announcement, it appears all parties have made a satisfactory deal. The lucrative business of deciding the world’s best MMA lightweight can commence.