Conor McGregor will return to the Octagon in 2020, according to ESPN's Brett Okamoto.
UFC president Dana White told ESPN that McGregor has signed his contract to compete on Jan. 18, 2020. Okamoto reports UFC is close to finalizing a non-title welterweight fight on that day between McGregor and Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone to headline UFC 246 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
"Conor has signed and Cowboy is ready to go," White told ESPN.
According to Okamoto, Cerrone's representatives said he agreed to the bout and signed a new deal with UFC. McGregor's team did not respond to ESPN's request for comment.
UFC 246 will mark McGregor's third welterweight fight after he fought Nate Diaz twice at 170 pounds in 2016. He lost the first event via submission before winning the second bout with a majority decision.
McGregor (21–4) has not fought since he was submitted in the fourth round of a UFC 229 lightweight title fight by Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018. After the match, Nurmagomedov climbed over the cage and ran toward McGregor's entourage. McGregor also went to the top of the cage to join the melee.
Outside of the Octagon, McGregor has dealt with a number of legal issues in the past year. Earlier this month, he pleaded guilty to punching a man in a Dublin bar in April. The incident came after McGregor was arrested in March after smashing a fan's phone outside the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami. Last month, the New York Times reported he was under investigation in Ireland for two separate incidents of sexual assault allegations.
Cerrone (36–13) last fought in September in a knockout loss to Justin Gaethje.