'Finally, I get my hands on him': Donald Cerrone reacts as Conor McGregor bout confirmed
The two UFC stars will square off in a welterweight contest at UFC 246 on January 18 next in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, in what will be McGregor's first fight since losing by submission to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October of last year.
For McGregor, the fight represents an opportunity for what would be his first victory since his outstanding title-winning performance against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in November 2016 and comes as the first test in what he described will be a three-fight 'season' in 2020.
McGregor and Cerrone have verbally sparred at several press conferences in the past, as well as Cerrone putting forth his candidacy to fight the Dubliner over the past few months, but now that the fight has been made official Cerrone says that he is looking forward to throwing leather with McGregor.
Cerrone, 36, comes into the bout on the back of successive defeats to Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson, knowing that third loss on the bounce would likely end any talk of a future title bout for the foreseeable future, while the fight also represents a make-or-break opportunity for McGregor as he pursues a rematch with Nurmagomedov, as well as a potentially highly-lucrative showdown with UFC 'BMF' Jorge Masvidal.
Given the high stakes nature of the fight, several of mixed martial arts' most well-known names have given their take on a fight which will open next year with a considerable bang.
In January, @Cowboycerrone predicted he'd fight Conor McGregor "in Vegas at T-Mobile [Arena] and sell the m----- f----- out."Almost one year later to the day, he'll have his chance at #UFC246pic.twitter.com/gDLPUKWNKC— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) November 28, 2019
Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone is the fight I was hoping for and I'm PUMPED it's finally going to happen. Great comeback fight for Conor and the magnitude of this event is something Cerrone is so deserving of. Can't wait. #UFC246— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) November 28, 2019
Some fans, though, are forecasting what might happen should McGregor's comeback falter at the first hurdle. A defeat against Cerrone would signal the end of McGregor's status as a fighter in the hunt for world titles, some suggest, and may even lead to McGregor announcing his retirement from the sport.
If McGregor doesnt win he should retire, his last massive comeback he got outclassed and i think this is his last chance— Wele Alli SZN (@RedemptionDele) November 28, 2019
If McGregor can’t beat him he’s gotta retire— Ty🌊 (@_Th3Franchise) November 28, 2019
Whatever happens inside the UFC cage in Las Vegas on January 18, the return of Conor McGregor will be one of the most-watched fights of next year - but whether it will be a one-shot deal or the first chapter of a comeback which could lead to a sequel in his heated rivalry with Khabib Nurmagomedov will be decided in 25 minutes or less in seven weeks' time.
For Conor McGregor, this is do or die.Also on rt.com 'We will settle it, once and for all': Conor McGregor announces UFC return and vows to face Khabib Nurmagomedov again (VIDEO)