(Reuters) – Mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor will meet Russian lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in Las Vegas in October on his return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
The Oct. 6 bout will be Irishman McGregor’s first since the former two-time division champion pleaded guilty in New York last month to a misdemeanour disorderly conduct charge for throwing a hand truck at a bus full of fighters in Brooklyn in April.
The Nurmagomedov fight, part of UFC 229, is tipped to be the biggest in the championship’s short history and could become the first MMA match to hit two million in pay-per-view sales.
McGregor, 30, has not fought in the octagon since he knocked out Eddie Alvarez in Nov. 2016 to win the lightweight title and become the first fighter to hold two UFC belts at the same time.
Since then, his only prize fight has been a lucrative boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather which he lost.
McGregor was eventually stripped of both his UFC belts, and in his absence the lightweight division has become one of the most exciting in the UFC.
The unbeaten Nurmagomedov is currently at the top of the pile, having secured the belt in an unanimous decision win over Al Iaquinta in Brooklyn in April.
Ever since, fans have wanted to see how his smothering style would fare against McGregor’s punching and quick movement.
(Reporting by Phil O’Connor and Gene Cherry; Editing by Ian Ransom)