Conor McGregor is on the war path.
Fresh from being named Forbes magazine’s highest-paid athlete of 2020, the Notorious Conor McGregor has taken some time out of his celebrations to exhibit his shredded physique to fans, as he gets ready to face Dustin Poirier, at UFC 264 in July.
The former featherweight and lightweight ‘champ champ’ uploaded a series of new gym pictures/selfies to the social media platform, Instagram, and it has to be said, clearly laying off the carbonated beverages as part of his recent, well-deserved celebrations, McGregor is looking in tremendous shape.
The first picture uploaded to the McGregor handle is a side-on view of the Irishman stood near the weights section of the gym, in which the Notorious proves he’s not been ducking on the bicep curls of late: his right arm looks well-defined and, potentially, stronger than ever.
The next shot was the kind of mirror selfie my wife’s 35-year-old post-lockdown excuse for a husband could only dream of: McGregor puffs out his trapezoid and deltoid muscles like an alpha gorilla defending its territory from a new male invader.
As it happens, these gym selfies are not simply being put about by the Irishman to make me feel insecure. As mentioned, McGregor is set to duke it out for the final time against Diamond Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 on July 10 and has been training for the bout in Dubai.
The Poirier fight has taken on extra significance for McGregor: back at UFC 178 in 2014, the Irishman proved way too hot to handle for his American opponent, KOing him in the very first round.
However, the second contest which took place in January of this year had a very different outcome.
Poirier kicked McGregor to a standstill with well-placed shots to the calf in the first round and then, following some vicious volume punching of the Irishman up against the cage, Diamond slapped him to the canvas to claim a KO/TKO win in the second round.
As a result, the winner of this next trilogy bout will be able to call themselves the better man once and for all, which is likely why McGregor has been packing on the muscle.
One concern though is that McGregor did seriously bulk up for the second encounter with Poirier, which he of course lost.
Many fans commented that he seemed slower than usual and that the Irishman’s footwork and the karate-type stance and strikes he’s so famed for (and which helped him to victory vs Poirier seven years prior) were absent from his performance.
McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh certainly disagrees with all this noise: speaking to SunSport, he stated:
“All that he has now is a hell of a lot more power, which is terrifying.”
Personally, I’m on the fence about it, though.
Anyone who watched the first fights between McGregor and Poirier will know that Poirier struggles to eat the McGregor left. In fact, despite losing the second contest vs the Louisiana native, the Irishman rocked him several times in the first round.
Clearly, McGregor has the power to knock Poirier out – there’s no question about that.
The big question, however, is can McGregor manoeuvre his new, bulky frame out of the way of Poirier’s calf kicks quicker this time?
Because, if he cannot, it could be another rough night for the traveling Irish fans..