Well god damn, fight fans. January just got the heat turned right up on it. UFC head honcho Dana White has confirmed the mixed martial arts organisation’s January UFC 246 card will not only see the long-awaited octagon return of Conor McGregor, but it will be in a hugely anticipated, blockbuster bout against massively beloved UFC cult figure, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.

McGregor hasn’t been seen in a UFC octagon since being handed a very high-profile defeat by Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October 2018, in a fight more notable for the chaotic scenes that followed the final bell.

Conversely Cerrone, the storied UFC journeyman, has lodged four fights in 2019 alone, with the last one – a loss to Justin Gaethje at Fight Night – coming this past September.

Cerrone has been lightly chiding McGregor on social media for a number of months now, raising the possibility of a fight by promoting a rivalry between McGregor’s Proper Twelve whiskey brand, and Cerrone’s much preferred Budweiser beer.

According to UFC boss Dana White, McGregor and his camp have signed on for the fight, and Cerrone has made it officially by inking a new multi-fight deal with the global MMA juggernaut.

The non-title bout will be contested at welterweight, which Cerrone has competed at exclusively since 2016. It’ll be just the third time McGregor has fought at 170 pounds, with his previous two welterweight bouts coming against Nate Diaz. McGregor lost the first of those two fights by submission, before evening the ledger in the return bout with a majority decision win.

UFC 246 is scheduled to take place on January 18 (January 19 Australian time) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Here. We. Go.

Image: Getty Images / Ethan Miller