Conor McGregor Vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov Set As Main Event For UFC 229 In Las Vegas

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Conor McGregor is back.

The former UFC two-division champion and the biggest pay-per-view star in MMA history announced Friday he will end a 21-month absence from the Octagon when he faces lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 on Oct. 6 in Las Vegas.

The fight's announcement turned out to be the surprise climax of UFC's 25th anniversary fall news conference in Los Angeles, held just one day before UFC 227 comes to the Staples Center. UFC president Dana White initially told media members the fight was close but not done in order to protect the announcement, despite the fact that both fighters weren't present at the event.

THE FIGHT IS ON!@TeamKhabib vs @TheNotoriousMMA Oct. 6 in Las Vegas at #UFC229! pic.twitter.com/GHNzmj4eWY

— #UFC227 (@ufc) August 3, 2018

The 30-year-old McGregor (21-3) hasn't fought since becoming the first UFC fighter to hold two world titles simultaneously when he stopped Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in November 2016. Last summer, he made his pro boxing debut in a loss to Floyd Mayweather which reportedly earned him $100 million.

McGregor's return is easily the sport's biggest story and the consummation of his grudge match with Nurmagomedov (26-0) is expected to set a new UFC record for PPV buys, if not become the first MMA fight to ever move 2 million buys.

Although the two fighters had commented publicly about each other in the past, their suddenly intense rivalry didn't begin until fight week of UFC 223 in April. Nurmagomedov approached McGregor's teammate, Artem Lobov, at the fighter's hotel and slapped him for previously running his mouth. McGregor sought revenge days later when he snuck into the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, after a news conference to attack a bus filled with Nurmagomedov and other UFC fighters in the loading dock area.