Conor McGregor has been bulking up for twelve weeks in preparation for UFC 196.
Unless you have been living in a cave then you will know that UFC 196 takes place this weekend in Las Vegas and Ireland’s very own Conor McGregor is taking on Nate Diaz in the main event.
While McGregor was originally scheduled to take on Rafael dos Anjos for Lightweight title, the Brazilian pulled out due to a foot injury with ten days to go. With huge pay-per-view figures expected and a massive marketing campaign leading into the event, the UFC were quick to replace the Brazilian with Diaz, who has long expressed a wish to take on the Irishman.
Adding further spice to the newly-set non-title fight is that it has been set at welterweight in order to allow Diaz make the weight. This sees McGregor make two weight jumps, from featherweight to welterweight, a full 25 pounds.
In preparation for the originally planned bout at lightweight, at 155lb, McGregor has been packing on the pounds. As his trainer John Kavanagh said when the Dos Anjos fight was set: “You’ve seen him on salads. Now see him on steak.”
With the Diaz fight set at welterweight (170lb), much has been made of the bulk that McGregor has added in the mere twelve weeks since UFC 194, when he decimated José Aldo in their featherweight title bout.
Prior to their 145lb fight, McGregor posted this image of himself as he cut down to the weight limit.
It’s clear from this that McGregor had to work hard to make the weight but we all know the result of that work.
Now, with the weight limit relaxed to 170lb, McGregor has been able to enjoy his diet and the cut is likely to be far less severe. With the bout merely days away, McGregor has been able to build himself into this awesome specimen below.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) February 18, 2016
Such has been the scale of his muscle mass gain that Nate Diaz, at their recent pre-fight press conference, was quick to suggest that the Irishman had turned to steroids to achieve his results. While this was merely a tactic by the American to get into McGregor’s head, it is clear, when the two images are compared, that McGregor has come a very long way from the featherweight of twelve weeks ago.
It has been clear to all that McGregor was by far the largest featherweight on the roster. While he could make the weight, he often appeared gaunt at the pre-fight weigh-ins.
This jump to lightweight and then to welterweight has suited the Irishman, as he surely has never been in such good shape.
All eyes will now be on Las Vegas on Saturday to see just what the steak-eating McGregor is capable of.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena