Conor McGregor’s trainer explains why the Irish bash now looks like a bodybuilder.

After Conor McGregor’s first round against Dustin Poirier III at UFC 264, the McGregor camp felt they were firmly in control. They thought McGregor was downing his opponent 2-1 from range, which was usually the mark of the win. Then it happened in the second round.

The Irishman attacked his opponent with a leg kick and broke his tibia and fibula, bringing the fight to an abrupt end.

Not only did this cost the 33-year-old the fight, but it also meant a long period of rehabilitation where cardio sessions would become difficult.

So what did McGregor do? He attacked the gym like a man possessed and now with a platform that looks more like a second rower in rugby league than a lightweight MMA fighter, he is ready for his next challenge: winning a UFC title in a third weight class.

With his cardio capacity limited due to the horrific broken leg he suffered at UFC 264, McGregor instead focused on getting massive in the gym.

His trainer John Cavanagh said the extra bulk wouldn’t bother McGregor and he was busy rebuilding his fitness base for his competitive return to the UFC octagon.

“I’ve never heard anyone complain about getting too strong, in other words,” Cavanagh said.

“He’s had a lifetime of experience gaining weight, he’s never missed it.

“Conor has a certain mentality with everything he does, he tends to do it at an extreme level.

“He got into weightlifting because of his inability to do anything else with his ankle for a while and he’s definitely gained a lot of strength, which isn’t the worst thing in the world. world.

“Most strength and conditioning coaches will tell you that it’s easier to get in shape, but quite hard to get strong.” So he spent that time getting strong and now he’s starting to work on his fitness again and he’s bouncing back.

“I don’t think that will be a problem with the weight loss and he can get back to his more aerobic style training, hitting pads and running and everything else.”

“Whatever weight class, whether it’s lightweight or welterweight that he’s talking about now, he’ll get there professionally and comfortably.”

McGregor was in control of his fight against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264, landing several strikes from range before injury ended his night.

McGregor was in control of his fight against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264, landing several strikes from range before injury ended his night.

The big question many people ask is why? McGregor has accomplished everything there is to accomplish in sports. At 33, he is a two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight and lightweight champion.

He earned over $200 million in the octagon and thanks to a huge payday from his exhibition boxing match with “Money” Floyd Mayweather.

The proud father has three beautiful children and a life of security. So why the burning desire to add the welterweight title to his collection.

Cavanagh explained that it was just in his DNA.

Coach John Cavanagh and McGregor have worked together and been best friends for nearly 18 years.

Coach John Cavanagh and McGregor have worked together and been best friends for nearly 18 years.

“He started with me when he was 16 and he was loud and arrogant and obnoxious and hilarious and funny and witty. He talked about a big game and trained hard,” he said.

“None of those qualities have really changed. Now that he’s a dad with a bunch of kids and he’s got a lot of money, but I still see the same type of character that came in.

“I sometimes scratch my head, if I had a bank balance that looked like a phone number, would I want to walk into a cage and trade blows with someone? I do not know.

“But with him, it seems to be the activity that gives him the most joy.

“He’s got all the toys and he’s done everything you could do, but he keeps drifting around the gym every day.

“So it’s pretty clear that it’s his favorite outlet. It’s his favorite thing to do.

I don’t see that going away anytime soon. He’s in amazing shape, I don’t think he’s actually getting old. My god I’m 45 and I still feel young. Hopefully 33 isn’t quite scrapped yet.

“I think there are still a number of years of good competition at the highest level.”

McGregor's big talk and wild demeanor has earned him a lot of fans, but it's also earned him a lot of haters who don't want to see him succeed.

McGregor’s big talk and wild demeanor has earned him a lot of fans, but it’s also earned him a lot of haters who don’t want to see him succeed.

Of course, McGregor has his detractors. A life of trash talk and bold actions (with a sprinkling of arrests for good measure) made him the villain of pantomime for many.

He’s lost three of his last four UFC fights, is recovering from a major injury – the kind that ended the careers of athletes in every sporting code – and will blow out his 34th birthday candles in July this year.

Many doubt McGregor can come back and achieve his goal of winning a UFC title at a third weight class, potentially against YouTube star Jake Paul. But Cavanagh wouldn’t dare doubt his protege.

“I remember being told for a long time that an Irishman without a lifetime of wrestling experience could never beat someone like (UFC champion) Chad Mendes – and then he did. done,” he said.

“Then getting ready for (José) Aldo, I was told (Mendes) was a fluke, there was no way (McGregor) would beat someone who hasn’t been beaten since. 10. Then he did.

“Then everyone said there was no way he could move up a weight class and have two belts at the same time. Then he did.

‘So there’s no way up another weight class and pick up a few victories there. Then he did.

“I’m almost used to people at this point telling us what’s not possible and then Conor comes out and realizes it.

“So facing impossible tasks is nothing new for Conor.”

Cavanagh is now involved in the 20 week Alta Warrior MMA training program which is designed to turn average humans into MMA warriors over 100 unique lessons designed to improve their physical and mental strength.

Conor McGregor is preparing to fight Dustin Poirier in their lightweight bout at UFC 264 at T-Mobile Arena in 2021.

Conor McGregor is preparing to fight Dustin Poirier in their lightweight bout at UFC 264 at T-Mobile Arena in 2021.

“It teaches you to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations,” he said.

“The reality is that we are all going to face uncomfortable situations in life, whether it’s work difficulties, relationships or aggression, whatever the conflict.”

And he gives the first lesson for free – learning to dance.

“One thing I’ve noticed is that every good fighter is a good dancer. You could just be in a nightclub and they all have a certain beat,” he said,

Artem Lobov was a formally trained ballroom dancer. I’ve never seen Israel Adesanya in a nightclub, but I bet this man has some moves.

“I think maybe there’s a rhythm that comes with the fighting that translates into the dancing.

“Bruce Lee was a Cha Cha dance champion and I’m sure there are plenty of other examples. I think Jean-Claude Van Damme may have come from ballet.

“I would definitely encourage it for anyone interested in learning how to dance to go with the fight. I think it’s a good skill to have. Good for picking up chicks too.

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