Khabib Nurmagomedov Will Face Conor McGregor at UFC 229

Nate Diaz Makes His Return Against Dustin Poirier at UFC 230

Two of the biggest stars in the UFC are both scheduled to fight in the next few months, it just won’t be against one another, or on the same night.

The UFC announcing Friday afternoon that Conor McGregor makes his long awaited return to the octagon at UFC 229 on October 6th against current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Photo: AP

#1 McGregor (21-3) hasn’t fought in the UFC since winning the lightweight title at UFC 205 in November 2016.  He did box Floyd Mayweather in August 2017, but has yet to fight since then.

Photo: AP Photo/Isaac Brekken

In the past few months, he’s faced legal issues, but with the issues now resolved, he is able to fight again.  McGregor has been dropping little hints over the past few days on his social media that a return to the UFC was getting close.

Friday afternoon UFC held a press conference featuring many fighters who will be competing later this year. Many fans were hoping a fight between McGregor and Nurmagomedov would be announced. Minutes before the press conference began, McGregor posted the video below.

The press conference begins, with no McGregor or Nurmagomedov present, and UFC President Dana White telling the press a deal with the two fighters was not done yet.  The press conference carries on and when there are no more questions for the fighters or White, the UFC President cues to a video announcing a fight for McGregor and Nurmagomedov was in fact done and had a date set.

Nurmagomedov will look to defend his lightweight championship on the main event of UFC 229 on October 6th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.

Photo: Reinhold Matay/AP Photo

The other big fight announcement made this week, is the co-main event of UFC 230, #3 Dustin Poirier will welcome back #10 Nate Diaz.  Poirier (25-5-1) is coming fresh of his 2nd round TKO victory over Eddie Alvarez.  Diaz (19-11) on the other hand, hasn’t fought since his decision loss to McGregor in August 2016.

Poirier spoke with Luke Thomas on The Luke Thomas Show on SiriusXM earlier this week about what his plans.

Photo: AP

“At the end of the day, I’ve been doing this to be a world champion,” Poirier told Thomas.  “And I feel like I’m the closest I’ve ever been.  So for me to do anything else but what I think I’ve earned, it’s gonna need to be money.”

Diaz is a big name, but does the two year layoff hurt his stock?  Co-main events do get a percentage of the pay-per-view money, but there hasn’t been a main event announced for UFC 230 yet.

Photo: Eric Jamison/AP Photo

This fight announcement was made the night before the McGregor-Nurmagomedov fight was announced.  Many speculated that Diaz and Poirier would fight as the co-main event to a McGregor-Nurmagomedov fight, since both Diaz and Poirier have expressed their interest in making a lot of money when they fight.  This made sense for all parties involved.

It would include a big payday for all the fighters and in case one of the fighters got injured or missed weight in the main event, one of the fighters from the co-main event could step into their place, since they all fight at lightweight.

It appears both Diaz and Poirier thought they were fighting on the same card as the McGregor-Nurmagomedov fight as well.  Both tweeting their displeasure with the fight announcement shortly after the press conference.

Both Diaz and Poirier want to make big money and in order for that to happen, there would have to be a big main event for UFC 230.  McGregor is the biggest draw and with Brock Lesnar-Daniel Cormier not happening until 2019, there isn’t another big fight that makes sense for the main event.  There are rumors of Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre fighting at a catch-weight, but that fight may be six years too late to get the amount of PPV buys the UFC is expecting.

Greg LaFountain is from a small town in upstate New York called Peru. After graduating high school, Greg enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, serving his country for four years. After the Marines, Greg went to Pensacola State College where he got his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. He then moved to Tampa and enrolled at the University of South Florida where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications. Since graduating from USF, Greg interned with Bucs Blitz, covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Greg joined Genesis in the fall of 2016, covering Florida State Football, the NFL and the UFC.