McGregor suffered a fourth defeat in 25 bouts at UFC 229 after losing by submission in the fourth round to the Russian, but the aftermath of the fight against Nurmagomedov overshadowed anything that happened in the Octagon.
The fighters and members of both camps went at each other shortly after the bout ended, with the melee spilling out into the front rows of the arena. Hefty fines and suspensions were later handed out.
In January last year, the Nevada State Athletic Commission fined Nurmagomedov and McGregor $500,000 and $50,000 respectively for their role in the fracas, suspending the fighters for nine and six months respectively.
Since then, McGregor announced his retirement in March last year, only to subsequently change his mind. He has also found himself in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. The Irishman has been accused of sexual assaults in two separate incidents—he has not been charged in either— and has been arrested for smashing a mobile phone outside a nightclub in Miami, Florida.
In August, meanwhile, footage emerged of him beating an older man in a bar in Dublin.
McGregor, however, is finally ready to make his long-awaited return to the Octagon and has hinted at major plans for 2020, suggesting UFC 246 will be the first of three fights over the next 12 months.
In the Irishman’s plans, the third fight will see him fight the winner of UFC 249’s main event, which pits together Nurmagomedov and former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson on April 18.
Before he can look that far, however, the 31-year-old has to take care of business against Cerrone, who has a career record of 36-13.
When is UFC 246?
The main card of UFC 246 is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 18, with McGregor and Cerrone expected in the octagon at approximately 12:15 a.m. ET on Sunday.
Where is UFC 246?
UFC 246 is scheduled to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The event will mark the 14th time T-Mobile Arena has hosted a UFC bout and comes just a month after the venue staged UFC 245.
McGregor has previously fought at the Vegas venue in October 2018, when he lost at UFC 229 against Khabib Nurmagomedov, and in August 2017, when his boxing debut ended in defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
TV coverage and live stream
As with every other UFC event on pay-per-view, UFC 246 will be available exclusively via ESPN+.
The main card on pay-per-view can be purchased for $64.99.
UFC 246 fight card
UFC 246 features 12 fights before the main event between McGregor and Cerrone, eight of which are on the preliminary card and four on the main card.
There are two women’s fights on each card, with Holly Holm taking on Raquel Pennington in the Bantamweight Division and Cláudia Gadelha facing Alexa Grasso in the Strawweight Division.
The complete card is as follows:
- Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone—Welterweight
- Holly Holm vs. Raquel Pennington—Women’s Bantamweight
- Aleksei Oleinik vs. Maurice Greene—Heavyweight
- Cláudia Gadelha vs. Alexa Grasso—Women’s Strawweight
- Anthony Pettis vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira—Lightweight
- Roxanne Modafferi vs. Maycee Barber—Women’s Flyweight
- Andre Fili vs. Sodiq Yusuff—Featherweight
- Drew Dober vs. Nasrat Haqparast—Lightweight
- Chas Skelly vs. Grant Dawson—Featherweight
- Sabina Mazo vs. JJ Aldrich—Women’s Flyweight
- Tim Elliott vs. Askar Askarov—Flyweight
- Brian Kelleher vs. Ode Osbourne—Bantamweight
- Aleksa Camur vs. Justin Ledet—Light Heavyweight