Conor McGregor’s return is probably going to be in Sin City.
MMA’s biggest star said in a video interview published by TMZ on Tuesday that his next UFC fight probably won’t be in New York — it’ll be in Las Vegas.
“We’ll see what happens,” McGregor said as he was jogging on the streets of New York. “I’d love to fight in the Garden again. But I believe this one is Las Vegas.”
That leaves UFC 229 on Oct. 6, which is reportedly at the top of the UFC’s list. Another possibility is UFC 232 on Dec. 29. Both of those cards are scheduled for T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
McGregor did not respond when asked if his opponent would be Khabib Nurmagomedov, the current UFC lightweight champion. But Nurmagomedov is the more-than-likely foe. McGregor never lost his lightweight title in the cage. He was stripped after not defending the belt after winning it at UFC 206 in November 2016 against Eddie Alvarez. Nurmagomedov won it in earnest by beating Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 in April.
The McGregor-Nurmagomedov rivalry took a wild turn that weekend when McGregor and his posse from Ireland attacked a charter bus that they believed Nurmagomedov to be on. The incident was reportedly in retaliation for Nurmagomedov and his team cornering McGregor’s training partner and good friend Artem Lobov in the Brooklyn host hotel earlier in the week.
McGregor was arrested for throwing a dolly and shattering the bus window, spraying UFC fighters with glass. But he got off without jail time last week, pleading to one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct. McGregor will have to do five days of community service, one to three days of anger management evaluation and will be required to pay restitution for the damage he caused on the bus.
In the video, McGregor said he was “pushing for” coming back before the end of 2018 and that a deal was “very close.”
“It’s not official, but we’re close,” McGregor said.