Former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor looks to be in fantastic shape ahead of his widely anticipated return to the Octagon.
Back in June, McGregor announced his retirement from mixed martial arts, citing a disinterest in the state of the sport.
“The game just does not excite me, and that’s that,” McGregor told ESPN not long after he announced his retirement on Twitter. “All this waiting around. There’s nothing happening. I’m going through opponent options, and there’s nothing really there at the minute. There’s nothing that’s exciting me.
“I’m just not excited about the game,” he added. “I don’t know if it’s no crowd. I don’t know what it is. There’s just no buzz for me.”
Luckily for McGregor fans, it became clear quite quickly that his retirement wouldn’t last. Months after his announcement, he was already teasing a comeback, and now, he’s expected to return to the Octagon to fight fellow lightweight contender Dustin Poirier on January 23. The bout will be a rematch of a 2014 featherweight fight, which he won by first-round knockout.
McGregor rarely takes breaks from training—even during his alleged retirement—but seems to have ramped things up in anticipation of his rematch with Poirier, and his time in the gym looks to be paying dividends. If his latest posts to Instagram are to be taken at face value, he’s in incredible shape at the moment.
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Conor McGregor last fought in January, when he defeated record-collecting veteran Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone via first-round TKO. It took him just 40 seconds to seal the deal with a series of shoulder strikes, a head kick, and a volley of ground strikes.
Prior to his win over Cerrone, McGregor had not tasted victory since all the way back in November of 2016, when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez to become a two-division UFC champion. After his win over Alvarez, he came up short in a blockbuster boxing match with undefeated legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017, then tapped out to undefeated UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018.
How do you think McGregor will look in his anticipated return to the Octagon?