UFC chief explains why Conor McGregor is fighting at welterweight

UFC chief Dana White has explained why Conor McGregor has stepped up to welterweight for his eagerly-awaited return to the Octagon next month.

The Irish superstar, who will be stepping up from lightweight, has signed a deal to fight Donald Cerrone on January 18.

McGregor will make his long-awaited return to the UFC for the first time since his defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov last October.

A few eyebrows were raised when it was revealed that the fight would be at 170 pounds and White has now revealed that McGregor insisted on the decision.

“Conor is going to fight at 170 for this fight,” White told 101.6-FM in Washington.

"Mainly because he doesn’t want to have to cut the weight to 155. Him and Cerrone have both fought at 170.

“He’s hoping that he beats Cerrone and can turn right around and fight Khabib as quick as possible.

"So he didn’t want to make the cut twice.”

McGregor has signed his contract to compete on the date, with Cerrone having agreed terms.

"Conor has signed and Cowboy is ready to go," White told ESPN.

McGregor's return had been plunged into doubt when the UFC released their event schedule for 2020, with no sign of the comeback fight.

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