Conor McGregor may have put pen to paper on a deal that will see him fight Khabib Nurmagomedov, in what will be an attempt to win back his lightweight belt.

The Irishman has not been inside the octagon since 2016, and had his title forcibly vacated just prior to UFC 223 in Brooklyn – where the Dagestani would claim the hardware.

Ed Mulholland/Getty Images Sport

Also prior to UFC 223, an incident involving McGregor, several objects, and a bus carrying numerous UFC fighters away from the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn landed ‘The Notorious’ in the dock faced with felony charges.

Despite the legal matter remaining unresolved (the Dubliner is due back in court on July 26), negotiations had reportedly begun between the respective camps of McGregor and Nurmagomedov to organise a fight for this year.

Although UFC president Dana White had suggested he may move to sanction McGregor himself, it seems the draw of a financially lucrative super-fight between the two lightweights would prove irresistible.

The Express report that MMA Team Dagestan (the first outlet to report the negotiations between the camps) tweeted a series of emojis suggesting McGregor may have signed a contract.

Tweeting an emoji of a hand writing, a chicken (which Nurmagomedov has repeatedly called McGregor), an eye, and a lightning strike, it appears as though something is certainly in the works.

Nurmagomedov himself uploaded a recent post to his Instagram account that was accompanied with the caption ‘Smash him. #soon’.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BkzgQOVn3S1/?hl=en&taken-by=khabib_nurmagomedov

The official announcement may well be delayed until the conclusion of McGregor’s legal business, but seems ever-likely.