Conor McGregor is eyeing a return to the UFC and the truth behind his bulked up body transformation has been revealed.
Conor McGregor’s coach isn’t worried about the UFC star’s bulked up physique as he eyes a return to the Octagon later this year.
McGregor has been sidelined with injury since he broke his leg in a loss to Dustin Poirier in their trilogy fight last July.
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After undergoing surgery, the Irishman has vowed to make a return to the UFC as soon as possible and he’s been turning heads with his new-look physique.
McGregor has piled on the pounds in the gym and revealed at one point he weighed as much as 86kg — 15kg heavier than he was when weighing in for his bout against Poirier.
Many UFC fans were surprised by the added bulk to McGregor’s upper body, but according to his coach John Kavanagh, there’s nothing to be concerned about.
“You know, Conor is a very hard trainer and he’s not going to go to the gym and mess around,” Kavanagh told news.com.au, as he gave this reporter a taste of the MMA training program ALTA, which makes an average punter fight-ready in 20 weeks.
“The only thing he could go is lift weights,” Kavanagh added.
“So guess what? He lifted all the weights.”
McGregor’s longtime mentor dismissed any talk the 33-year-old will have trouble shedding the weight for another potential lightweight bout.
“In terms of am I worried in a couple months time he’ll struggle with the weight? No,” Kavanagh said.
“He’s made weight for 15 years, never missed once. For all his boxing fights, all his MMA fights, he’s never missed his weight class once.
“What he is going to come back I believe is much stronger. Any strength and conditioning coach will tell you, it’s not massively difficult to get somebody cardio fit, but it is hard to get them strong. So he’s focusing on what he can do now, which is get strong, strong, strong.”
McGregor’s broken leg is healed and his next task is to ensure his MMA skills get back up to scratch and he is fully fit for a fight.
“The purely physical side of it is pretty much done now,” Kavanagh said.
“The bone is well healed. As he likes to say now, he has a titanium shin for kicking people in the head.
“So all the mechanical stuff is done and now it’s a case of starting to reintroduce the MMA-style drills. Because the way you move, it’s a little bit less predictable and you don’t want to do that until you really are structurally sound.
“When we start the fitness training, the excess fat and the excess weight will burn off just from the amount of calories you burn doing this sport.”
McGregor may be past his prime but he is still hungry and determined to squeeze in a couple more fights before he calls time on his career.
Kavanagh predicts the Irishman will make his long-awaited return at the UFC’s International Fight week in the middle of the year.
It’s unclear who McGregor’s opponent will be but a potential fight looms with a UFC veteran such as Nate Diaz, Tony Ferguson or Max Holloway.
“I think (European) summer time sounds about right,” Kavanagh said.
“We’re kind of just getting back into MMA training so four months of that and couple weeks for high-intensity fight camp training.
“International Fight Week in July is always a big one for the UFC. Sounds like that would make sense.
“Who is the big question. I really don’t know. I really don’t know. Whoever it will be, I’m just excited if Conor’s excited by them.”