Conor McGregor is plotting a return to the UFC’s Octagon on January 18 of the new year. The widespread expectation is that the former two-division champ will be welcomed back by popular lightweight gunslinger Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. This McGregor-Cerrone bout is still not official, but McGregor’s manager Audie Attar says negotiations are underway. “I would say that talks have been progressing,” Attar told the Post when asked about the rumoured match-up. “We’ve met them, we’re in close communication with them. I would hope that an announcement could happen in the coming weeks, but at the end of the day, it’s still a work in progress.” McGregor has not stepped foot in the Octagon since he was defeated by UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in October of 2018. While many members of the combat sports community speculated that this loss would spell the end of the Irishman’s fighting career, Attar never doubted a comeback was in the cards. “I always knew he wasn’t going to end on that note,” he said. When McGregor announced his comeback plans last month, he specified that he intended to fight three times in 2020. According to Attar, this plan has little to do with money. Instead, it’s based on a belief that McGregor is at his best when he’s able to stay active. Masvidal says McGregor doesn’t want ‘BMF’ belt any more “When you look back to when he was winning fights, he was fighting often,” Attar stated. “He wasn’t fighting once a year, he was fighting often, he was staying active. “He never has to fight one fight more in his life,” Attar added. “At the end of the day, that’s the thing people forgot about him; he actually is a competitor. He dares to do things differently. “He strives for greatness and dreams for things that nobody thought that he could accomplish, and he’s doing that again. That’s what’s exciting. It’s exciting to be a part of that and witness that and see that fire in him again. I love it.” Fighting three times in a year, of course, is easier said than done – especially when money is not a motivating factor. Attar admits the intention is to take things one fight at a time, but does not believe his star client’s motivation will flag amid a busy 2020 schedule. “I don’t see him slowing down,” he said. “I think that fighting once a year for the last couple of years, it’s almost like it’s grown his appetite to stay active. In any sport, the more reps you take, the better you get. He’s no stranger to becoming a world champion multiple times over. He knows what it takes.” If McGregor does fight three times in 2020, it’s conceivable that he would work his way to another shot at UFC gold. By Attar’s estimation, McGregor would not only contend for a UFC title again, but win one. “Yes,” he said confidently when asked if McGregor will be a UFC champ again in the future.