Donald Cerrone says bout with Conor McGregor 'looking good'

Should McGregor's return fight be against Cerrone or Gaethje? (1:38)

Tyron Woodley explains why he likes Donald Cerrone, not Justin Gaethje, as a matchup for Conor McGregor in his return fight. (1:38)

Conor McGregor announced his UFC return for Jan. 18 in Las Vegas, but didn't name his opponent. Now it seems like one has emerged.

ESPN reported last week that Donald Cerrone was the front-runner to fight McGregor, and Cerrone all but confirmed that Tuesday in a video interview with TMZ. Cerrone said a potential bout with the Irish star is "looking good."

"I think it's gonna happen this time, I really do," Cerrone said. "Conor is really serious about making a comeback. He's doing whatever he wants to do."

Cerrone and McGregor were linked as potential opponents earlier this year for a summer date, but things fell through. Last Thursday, McGregor announced at a news conference in Russia that he'd be making his return at a UFC pay-per-view event Jan. 18 in Las Vegas. UFC president Dana White told ESPN's Brett Okamoto that Jan. 18 is indeed the target date, but "no deals are even close to being signed."

"Ask the UFC who the opponent is, because I do not give a f--- who the opponent is," McGregor said last week, speaking at an event for his sponsor Parimatch, a Russian betting website.

Cerrone intimated that he was the unnamed man, but said McGregor has not put his name on a contract.

"Sign the damn deal, man," Cerrone said. "Let's get this done."

McGregor, the biggest financial drawing card in UFC history, has not fought since a loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October 2018. His last UFC win came in November 2016.

McGregor, 31, has been saddled with several legal issues during his layoff.