Conor McGregor warned muscle gained in body transformation will be ‘hard to shift’ if he returns to UFC at lightweight – The Sun
CONOR McGREGOR has been warned the muscle mass gained in his welterweight body transformation will be "hard to shift" if he returns to lightweight by UFC hero Dan Hardy.
The Notorious, 31, blew away 36-year-old veteran Donald Cerrone on his octagon return in January, scoring an emphatic 40-second knockout.
But the Irish southpaw did so at a career heaviest 170lb after deciding to skip a gruelling weight cut and make his comeback at welterweight.
And with plans to shrink back down to 155lb and chase the lightweight belt he once owned, former welterweight title challenger Hardy wonders if McGregor will be able as powerful back down in weight.
He told SunSport: “The question now for me around Conor is what weight class does he fight in?
“Does he remain at welterweight? Or does he go back down to lightweight? Will he look as strong at lightweight like he did against Cowboy?
“He can transition from one weight class to another – the challenge is not getting too big when you’re fighting at welterweight.
“I think it was quite clear that he gained some muscle mass for this fight, you can see with his back and triceps that he gained some muscle mass which would be hard to shift if you go back down to lightweight.
“I think as long as he’s on point with his nutrition and he’s got the right people around him making the transition may not be too difficult.”
McGregor burst onto the UFC scene in 2013 at featherweight winning six straight before ending Jose Aldo’s 10-year unbeaten streak in just 13 seconds and one punch thrown.
But the Irishman then had two grudges matches against Nate Diaz at welterweight before winning the lightweight crown by knocking out Eddie Alvarez in November 2016.
A boxing match against Floyd Mayweather, defeat to Nurmagomedov and comeback win over Cerrone up at 170lb has left McGregor’s weight fluctuating.
But Hardy insisted a division between lightweight and welterweight – where McGregor has been operating – would be ideal for the 31-year-old and other fighters struggling to find a home with the massive 15st difference between the two weight classes.
Hardy explained: “What it really do is highlight that need for a weight class in between.
“Because the jump from lightweight to welterweight is huge, it’s bigger than any weights class around in the lighter weight classes.
“I think it’s worth getting another weight class in there and it makes another championship belt that’s reachable for Conor McGregor and a weight class that would be suitable for others.”
- BT Sport will celebrate the anniversary of Conor McGregor’s UFC debut on Monday 6th April. Watch McGregor’s greatest fights back to back on BT Sport 3 from 9pm on McGregor Monday.