The bout will mark the No. 5 ranked lightweight’s first trip down to the UFC’s 155-pound division since fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October 2018. Since then, McGregor has noticeably put on more muscle mass and his only bout after the UFC 229 bout was against Donald Cerrone at 170 pounds in January of this year.
For years, McGregor cut down to the featherweight division, 10 pounds less than the lightweight division. And although he’s confident in “Notorious'” ability to make weight, the Irishman’s head coach John Kavanagh said cutting down to lightweight isn’t “going to be fun.”
“It’s not going to be fun, let’s be honest,” Kavanagh said in a recent interview with The Mac Life. “He’s not going down to the 145 days, so a full 10 pounds on top of those days were rough and he never missed one. This one, he’s taking a longer approach to it rather than keeping the weight similar and then a severe drop in the last few days. He’s kind of ramping it down. The guys are really on top of that. They’ve got a couple of markers he’s got to hit. He actually just hit one, so he’s achieving the kind of gradual step down, which I think is going to suit him better, rather than a really severe one.”
“His goal is to be quite active in 2021, so there is no point in yo-yoing the diet, bring it down sensibly,” he continued. “But, he is looking fantastic at the moment and Conor loves a mirror, so keep that jacked appearance for as long as possible (laughs).”
On January 23, McGregor hopes to reinsert his name at the top of the lightweight division. Kavanagh broke down McGregor’s training thus far and his thoughts on the division landscape. Watch the full interview below:
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McGregor Has Only Competed in the UFC Lightweight Division Twice
“Notorious” has done most of his work in the promotion at featherweight and welterweight. He started his UFC career at 145 pounds in April 2013, dismantling Marcus Brimage during the preliminary card of UFC on Fuel TV: Mousasi vs. Latifi.
He would go on to win six times in a row at featherweight, capturing the interim belt and then the undisputed belt along the way. After defeating then-champ Jose Aldo in December 2015, McGregor was set to make his UFC 155-pound debut against then-lightweight king Rafael dos Anjos. However, an injury forced “RDA” off the card and he was replaced by Nate Diaz.
McGregor and Diaz met at welterweight, with Notorious losing via second-round submission. Months later, the two rematched at 170 pounds and McGregor won by majority decision.
After the second fight with Diaz, McGregor made his lightweight debut in the UFC, winning the belt off of Eddie Alvarez in November 2016. His next UFC match came against Khabib Nurmagomedov at lightweight, which he lost via fourth-round submission.
McGregor’s last fight took place in January against Donald Cerrone. The fight was at welterweight and Notorious won via first-round TKO.
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