Recent social media posts from Conor McGregor show that he is transforming his body once again.
His impressive physique shown on his Instagram page are signs that the Irish fighter is awaiting a possible return to UFC after retiring for the third time.
Notorious arrived at the UFC’s featherweight division in fashion, winning his first six bouts from 2013. Weighing in at 145lbs for his first victory against Marcus Brimage, McGregor’s transformation since has been drastic.
He later worked his way through the division, defeating featherweights including future title holder Max Holloway, as well as Chad Mendes for the interim belt.
Fast forward to UFC 194 – undefeated McGregor challenged Brazilian veteran Jose Aldo for the featherweight title. Following his successful dethroning of Aldo, McGregor was offered a lightweight title shot against another Brazilian – Rafael dos Anjos.
However, after Dos Anjos failed to compete due to injury, McGregor’s next step was up to welterweight class, in a short 10 days, to fight Nate Diaz in consecutive fights.
Moving weight classes is not unusual for fighters, but increasing weight class by two between consecutive fights reflected McGregor’s determination and hunger to be the best.
The Irishman’s infamous first battle with Diaz ended with a loss by submission in round two. However, McGregor was triumphant in the return fight five months later, beating Diaz by decision.
This was McGregor’s first stint at welterweight, but would not be his last, after his latest bout with Donald “The Cowboy” Cerrone.
After the two Diaz bouts, McGregor had the opportunity for another UFC belt – this time at the lightweight division. Dethroning then-champion Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205, McGregor made history, becoming the first athlete to hold two different weight class championship belts.
However, UFC stripped the Irishman from both titles. McGregor reigned as featherweight champion for 18 months, despite not actively defending against challengers. On top of that, he was unlikely to drop his weight to compete in that division.
His lightweight title was stripped by the company in 2017 when his career then turned to a unique path, taking a year out of the Octagon. Instead, McGregor went to face boxing legend Floyd Mayweather in the ring.
This was at a super-welterweight class, which in comparison was only 1lb lighter than the lightweight division in MMA. There were reports at the time that Mayweather’s corner believed McGregor would not make the cut.
However, the Irishman was able to prove them wrong, weighing in at 153lbs. There were reports that Conor had put on over a stone for the boxing match, while Mayweather weighed in at 149lbs.
A stoppage in the 10th round saw McGregor lose his only fight in the ring, while Mayweather stayed undefeated. The Irishman made his return to the Octagon to challenge Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title he had previously stripped from him.
This fight meant McGregor once again had to adjust and transform his body to make weight. After a year from his fight against Mayweather, McGregor vs Khabib headlined UFC 229, before another submission meant The Notorious One was unsuccessful in this return to MMA.
After another temporary retirement, McGregor returned to the Octagon this year at welterweight to defeat veteran Cowboy Cerrone at UFC 246 in just 40 seconds.
Since the fight in January, McGregor’s future with the UFC has been questioned, with the Irishman announcing retirement from the cage for a third time.
Reports suggest the explanation for his retirement announcements have come from McGregor’s frustration that his next fights have been unidentified.
If and when The Notorious returns to the company, Dana White has commented on his overall plans for his star fighter. White has led us to believe McGregor will be back to the lightweight division, promising him the winner of Khabib & Justin Gaethje.