Conor McGregor could make his long-awaited return to the octagon later this year against UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
McGregor last fought at UFC 205 in November 2016 when he defeated Eddie Alvarez to become the promotion's first-ever simultaneous two-weight champion at the time.
He would then take time off to await the birth of his son before venturing into the boxing world when he took on Floyd Mayweather in their lucrative clash in August last year.
The Irishman's inactivity in the octagon resulted in him getting stripped of his title with Nurmagomedov going on to win the vacant belt when he defeated Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 in April.
But the bigger story was in the build-up to the event as McGregor's infamous attack made headlines worldwide when he hurled a dolly at a bus with Nurmagomedov present inside, seemingly due to the Russian allegedly threatening his teammate Artem Lobov.
McGregor would post bail the next day and recently had his hearing in New York this week with his team pursuing a plea deal as he will return for another hearing on July 26.
Conor McGregor could make his highly-anticipated return to the octagon later this year. Pictured: McGregor gestures to the crowd during the UFC 205 press conference at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Sept. 27, 2016. Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images
With the 29-year-old likely to face no further punishment, his return to the octagon edges closer as according to Russian mixed martial arts insiders MMA Dagestan, a bout with Nurmagomedov is in the works for UFC 229 which takes place in Las Vegas on Oct. 6.
"It is undesirable to say about this now, but negotiations are nearing completion," Nurmagomedov's father Abdulmanap was quoted as saying by MMA Dagestan.
If confirmed, it would be undoubtedly the most anticipated match-up in recent UFC history with McGregor's bus attack only adding to the storylines as a meeting with "The Eagle" has been inevitable for nearly two years now.
However, it would also mark 23 months since his last fight and there will be question marks as to whether McGregor would be able to handle arguably the toughest wrestler he would ever face in Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov meanwhile, is still campaigning for a super fight with Georges St-Pierre but spoke of his interest in fighting McGregor and punishing him for what he did in the build-up to UFC 223.
"Conor [McGregor] is very big name,” Nurmagomedov said after his lightweight title win. “It’s going to be big pay-per-[view] show, like two, three million pay-per-view buy[s]. Why not if Georges St-Pierre don’t come [to] 155?”
"We have to finish these things, this beef — maybe chicken. Let's talk about chicken. He have to stop eat[ing] Burger Kings and come back here. Too much Burger Kings. You want to fight with me? Come here. I’m here. My last three month[s], I fight twice. I fight this (Edson) Barboza. I fight this Iaquinta. Iaquinta is tough kid. Barboza is tough kid. I'm here. Now, UFC have only one champion, real, undisputed, and undefeated. Let's go." Nurmagomedov added.
UFC president Dana White has also spoken about how pending McGregor's court charges, a fight with Nurmagomedov was the one to make.
"I’m pretty confident that that is the fight that Conor wants, and I’m pretty confident that that is the fight that Khabib wants," White explained. "So, yeah, I could see that happening."