Conor McGregor is back in action on January 19 (AEST) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Former featherweight and lightweight champion goes up against Donald Cerrone at welterweight. The non-title bout serves as a headliner of UFC 246 fight card.
According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, McGregor wants to fight three times in 2020. In addition to the announced bout against Cerrone, “The Notorious” is looking to square off against Jorge Masvidal or have a trilogy fight with Nate Diaz, as well as face Khabib Nurmagomedov for the second time.
Helwani appeared on SportsCenter with Randy Scott and said the following (transcribed by MMAmania.com):
“Okay, so he has laid out this plan that he wants to fight three times next year. And he hasn’t done that in over three years as well, so it’s a pretty lofty goal. But he believes that when he is active, then he’s not getting distracted, he’s not getting in trouble. He’s very focused. And people are telling me right now that they haven’t seen him this focused in a very long time.”
“You hear this a lot in the fight game, but he’s going to sleep early, he’s waking up early,” Helwani continued. “He wants to prove to everyone that thinks he’s shot that they are wrong. So he wants to fight January 18th – in fact, he wanted to fight in December but the UFC didn’t give him that opportunity. So he wanted to fight at the beginning of the year, then he wants to return towards spring / summer, maybe fight Jorge Masvidal or Nate Diaz.”
“Perhaps that’s why this fight is happening at 170, to prove that he can hang with the welterweights. And then he wants to fight at the end of the year against Khabib Nurmagomedov, if he is still the champion, in Moscow. He wants to right that wrong.”
“He wants to win those two fights, get the title fight, and shut everyone up.”
In his previous bout in October 2018 Conor McGregor (21-4) was submitted by the reigning lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in Round 4. In August 2017 he went up against Floyd Mayweather in the scheduled for twelve rounds boxing match and was stopped in Round 10. This year the 31-year-old Irishman hasn’t competed.