McGregor set for much- anticipated UFC return

CONOR McGregor will enter the octagon this week when he challenges Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 246 following a 15-months hiatus away from competition.

It will be the third time that McGregor has fought at welterweight inside the octagon, but with Cerrone having to cut weight and McGregor needing to pack on the pounds, the difference in size is an interesting point.

Conor McGregor and Philip Sutcliffe

Conor McGregor in training with Crumlin BC Head Coach Philip Sutcliffe

The Crumlin man is renowned for his rise through the UFC featherweight and lightweight rankings and for his ability to land a powerful left hand at will.

Because he was larger, the power in his hands devastated two different divisions on his way to becoming the first man to hold two UFC titles simultaneously.

Typically larger than his opponents at the respective 145-pound and 155-pound divisions, McGregor has previously had to cut dramatic amounts of weight to reach those weight-limits.

When he previously fought at welterweight in a two-part epic against Nate Diaz, the added pounds made McGregor tired and he struggled to keep up the pace.

Having to put on weight went against the grain for a typical McGregor camp and his body struggled as the fights went on, but, with a full training-camp behind him at 170 pounds, the cardio-issues should diminish.

McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh has spoken ahead of this Saturday’s fight in Las Vegas, Nevada, claiming that he has never seen his fighter in better shape.

Crumlin Boxing Club Head Coach Philip Sutcliffe and Bra Brady are also over in the United States, making up the striking section of Conor’s camp.

But while questions still remain over McGregor’s ability to perform at the larger-weight, Cerrone is a proven figure in that division having carded six wins in 10 fights between 2016 and ’18.

With a record of 36 wins and 13 losses, the American fighter has the record for the most wins, finishes and post-fight bonuses in UFC history and is known for his trademark head kick knockout – which could prove troublesome for the “Notorious” coming out of the clinch.

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