Conor McGregor’s drastic body transformations in a fighting career of gruelling weight cuts and getting hench – The Sun
CONOR McGREGOR'S career has gone up and down since he first stepped foot in The Octagon – but not as much as his fighting weight.
The former featherweight and lightweight UFC champion returned this year to bear American veteran Donald Cerrone, 36, in just 40 seconds.
Despite plotting a rematch against 155lb champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, McGregor made his comeback at welterweight.
But months later the Irishman announced his third retirement in four years after being left frustrated with the UFC at not being able to identify his next fight.
McGregor then uploaded a picture online which prompted his coach John Kavanagh to joke that he should move up to middleweight – which would be hist FOURTH weight class in the UFC.
Here, SunSport investigates McGregor’s dramatic body transformations as he chopped and changed through the divisions.
The Notorious exploded on to the UFC scene in 2013 at 145lb winning six straight bouts before challenging cage legend Jose Aldo for the title at UFC 194 in late 2015.
After just 13 seconds and one left hand thrown, McGregor dethroned Aldo to become the new featherweight king – but has not fought in the division since.
The Irishman famously went through a gruelling weight cut to get down to the 10st 3lb limit looking gaunt for the weigh in but appeared much larger the next day.
Immediately after beating Aldo he was given a lightweight title shot against Rafeal dos Anjos, but after the Brazilian pulled out, he went on to face Nate Diaz twice at welterweight.
The Diaz rivalry derailed McGregor’s featherweight run, even though he held the title up until he challenged Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight crown, becoming the first to simultaneously hold two belts.
But the UFC eventually stripped him of his featherweight gold in 2017, meaning he reigned for 18 months as champion without defending the belt and having beefed up since his 145lb run, it is unlikely he will return to the division he first made his name.
McGregor entered the UFC as the Cage Warriors lightweight champion, but did not fight at 155lb for another six years.
After consecutive welterweight bouts against Diaz, the Irishman was given a lightweight title clash against Alvarez at UFC 205 – winning by second round KO.
McGregor admitted this was his most comfortable weight, having been undersized at welterweight but in a major battle to cut down to featherweight.
After switching to boxing for a money-spinning cameo in the ring, losing to Floyd Mayweather in 2017, The Notorious again lost his belt outside the cage.
In McGregor’s last bout at lightweight, he challenged rival Nurmagomedov for his old title, but was submitted in four rounds.
Despite the return at welterweight, McGregor insisted before his business at lightweight is not over, as he vowed to avenge the Nurmagomedov defeat and face the now-interim champ Justin Gaethje.
McGregor took a year out of the cage in 2017 to face ring legend Floyd Mayweather in a boxing crossover.
The fight took place at super-welterweight, 154lb, which was only a 1lb lighter than lightweight in MMA, the division the UFC star fought at before his boxing debut.
Mayweather was campaigning largely at welterweight (147lb) before facing McGregor but the Irishman was happy to go through the terrors of a weight cut to make the money-spinning bout happen.
In the end the contest was set for super-welterweight and still Mayweather’s team were adamant McGregor would not make the weight.
When he did scale at 153lb it was reported he put on over a STONE for fight night, as ‘Money’ weighed in at 149lb way under the limit.
But McGregor’s quick start caught up on him in the latter rounds with Mayweather scoring a 10th round stoppage win.
McGregor tested the welterweight division in 2016 after Dos Anjos pulled out of his showdown against McGregor, leaving the UFC with 10 days to find a replacement.
Before the fight he gloated how he could eat what he pleased, as he prepared to jump 25lb, almost two stone, from featherweight to welterweight – despite weighing in at 168lb.
But the steak diet backfired as McGregor ran out of steam against Diaz and was submitted in the second round.
After a better preparation The Notorious won the rematch five months later but will fight at welterweight for the first time since the Diaz rematch, despite coming close to getting an interim title shot in summer 2018.
Before McGregor's return to welterweight he weighed in at a career heaviest 170lb – coming 2lb under the limit on his two fights prior.
White said after the dominant win over Cerrone that he plans for his star man to move back down to lightweight but hinted it would not be the last time he fights at welterweight.
As McGregor was left frustrated back home in Ireland amid the coronavirus pandemic, his next moved was more than uncertain.
Gaethje stepped in on late notice to beat Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight belt which in turn set him up for a unification bout with Nurmagomedov.
McGregor was called out to a 176lb catchweight fight by middleweight legend Anderson Silva – and it was swiftly accepted by the Irishman, who was willing to fight at the 185lb limit.
The idea was shot down immediately by promoter White and soon after McGregor made the decision to retire again, having been left "bored of the game" with MMA not exciting the multimillionaire anymore.
The 31-year-old has still been training at home and appears to have remained bulked up from his last fight as trainer Kavanagh made the tongue in cheek middleweight remark.
When or if McGregor does decide to again reverse his retirement, White plans for him to fight at lightweight having already promised him the winner between Nurmagomedov and Gaethje.
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