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Conor McGregor takes the stage to hype his first UFC fight in nearly two years

Conor McGregor’s nearly two-year-long absence from the UFC octagon will end next month, but his championship abilities in fight promotion will start Thursday.

The former two-division champion from Ireland will take the stage around 5 p.m. local time in New York along with his replacement as lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, to hype their UFC 229 main event on Oct. 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

McGregor hasn’t fought since cashing in a reported $100 million for his one-sided boxing loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August 2017.

His extended absence since becoming the UFC’s first simultaneous two-belt champion in November 2016 lingered until UFC President Dana White said in March that Nurmagomedov (26-0) would have the right to fight for the belt in April in Brooklyn.

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McGregor showed up for that event unexpectedly and pursued Nurmagomedov, who was seated inside a tour bus transporting UFC fighters from the Barclays Center to their Brooklyn hotel.

McGregor bashed a bus window with a hand truck, causing injuries that prompted a recent lawsuit by UFC lightweight Michael Chiesa, and McGregor was arrested and charged with felony criminal mischief, skirting jail time thanks to a plea deal.

Nurmagomedov defeated Al Iaquinta to claim the vacated title.

With the legal dust cleared, McGregor is expected to renew his mental warfare on opponents by working to distract Nurmagomedov, a stoic, fiercely committed wrestler who has dominated his UFC opponents and stands as the betting favorite to win Oct. 6.

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See the news conference here:

https://www.ufc.com/media/UFC-229-Press-Conference-Khabib-vs-McGregor

The Times and combat sports writer Lance Pugmire will provide more coverage of the event later Thursday at latimes.com/sports, and on Twitter at @latimespugmire.

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

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Twitter: @latimespugmire


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