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UFC: McGregor set for return

By Rafael Bandayrel

After a 21-month hiatus, former two-division champion Conor McGregor is finally back, to do what he does best.

The Irish mega-star will be making his Octagon return against UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, on Oct. 6, at the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

UFC President Dana White made the announcement before ending a news conference held a day before UFC 227 at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles, California.

“The Notorious” one will try to reclaim the 155-pound title which was stripped off him last April for his inactivity. Nurmagomedov went on to capture the title at UFC 223 against late replacement Al Iaquinta.

“We have one more announcement to make,” White said before playing a promotional video featuring McGregor’s infamous bus attack.

“This is a very important fight for both fighters. For Khabib, who is undefeated and who is looked at as one of the best fighters in the world, beating Conor is massive for him,” White told ESPN.

“And obviously for Conor, coming back from a two-year layoff, in my opinion – and it’s crazy to say this because of how popular he is around the world – but he’s one of the most underrated fighters in the UFC. Everybody thinks because he speaks so well and gets so crazy and everything, it makes him sort of less of a fighter. It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.”

The rivalry between the two intensified when Nurmagomedov slapped McGregor’s teammate Artem Lobov during a confrontation in a hotel. McGregor and his crew retaliated days later when he snuck into the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and hurled a dolly into a bus during a UFC press event.

McGregor, 30, hasn’t seen action in an MMA cage since November 2016 when he defeated Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205.

The Dublin native then made his professional boxing debut on August 2016, losing to icon Floyd Mayweather in a bout that reportedly earned him $100 million.