Conor McGregor is headed back to the Octagon.
As widely rumored for some time, the Irish MMA superstar will take on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone on January 18.
Surprisingly, the fight will occur in the welterweight division, rather than the lightweight division, where both men competed most recently.
News of this matchup was first reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
"Conor has signed and Cerrone is ready to go."
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) November 28, 2019
“Conor has signed and Cerrone is ready to go,” White told Okamoto of this McGregor vs. Cerrone matchup.
Conor McGregor has not fought since October of 2018, when he was submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov in a bid to reclaim the UFC lightweight title. His next most recent fight before that was a blockbuster boxing match with undefeated legend Floyd Mayweather Jr., while his second most recent MMA fight occurred all the way back in 2016, when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez to claim the lightweight belt. Because he still held the UFC featherweight belt at the time, this made him the first fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two weight classes simultaneously.
Cerrone, on the other hand, is coming off a pair of stoppage losses to top lightweight contenders Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson. Prior to that, he rattled off back-to-back wins over lightweight contenders Al Iaquinta and Alexander Hernandez.
While both men’s most recent fights have occurred at lightweight, both have competed at welterweight previously. McGregor competed in two welterweight bouts in 2016, going 1-1 in a pair of battles with Nate Diaz. Cerrone, meanwhile, competed 10 times at welterweight between 2016 and late 2018, going 6-4 in the division.
Who do you think will win this Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone matchup?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 11/28/2019.