Conor McGregor Bulks Up to 190 Pounds While Recovering From Leg Injury

"The Notorious One" showed off newfound muscle mass on a recent Instagram post.

Former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor (22-6) is looking massive as of Dec. 2, 2021. Five months earlier, the MMA legend suffered a leg break in his trilogy fight with lightweight fighter Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier (28-6). It was an anticlimactic (and awkward) ending to the rubber match, as McGregor promised to bring the pain following his first-ever knockout loss to Poirier in January 2021. 

Fans shrugged McGregor off. The Irishman is, after all, worth $180 million (as of 2021), owns a sports entertainment company, founded and sold (his share of) Proper Twelve Whiskey, and recently opened The Black Forge Inn in Dublin, Ireland. While most fighters are scrapping to put food on the table, McGregor tucks himself into a bed made of money each night. Nest egg aside, McGregor seems hellbent on returning to the cage to avenge his most recent loss. 

Since the leg break in July 2021, “The Notorious” has routinely posted images of himself hitting the weights and boasting of his newfound muscle. In a recent tweet, McGregor says he weighs 190 pounds and looks more physically imposing than he ever has.


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[Related: Everything You Need to Know to Build Your First Workout Program]

McGregor’s Bulk

McGregor adheres to his FAST programming, a training system developed by exercise physiologist Dr. Julian Dalby. FAST is a strength & conditioning program broken up into three categories — endurance, functional strength, and power and speed. Muscle growth isn’t mentioned on the FAST website, so McGregor seems to be taking matters into his own hands by bulking up

Pursue his Instagram, and  McGregor is seen performing classic muscle-building exercises such as weighted pull-ups, lateral raises, preacher curls, and heavy sets of dumbbell bench presses.


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McGregor hasn’t shared too much insight into why he’s undergone this mass-building phase, but there are a couple of presumptive reasons. First, McGregor’s leg injury hinders his mobility and ability to perform explosive movements, and straight-up hypertrophy movements are typically low-impact require little to no agility. Second, McGregor doesn’t have a fight on the horizon, so he doesn’t have to worry about cutting weight — there’s no better time to increase his food intake and create more mass to throw at his opponents. 

At 190 pounds, this is by far the heaviest McGregor has been (or at least the heaviest weight he’s disclosed). For context, McGregor used to cut to 145 pounds. As of 2016, he made a permanent shift to the 155- and 170-pound weight classes. Still, his “offseason” weight has never been this high. 

Before McGregor’s 2016 fight with Nate Diaz at Welterweight — his debut in that weight class — he weighed 168 pounds, insinuating that was his natural weight at the time. Since his scrap with Diaz, McGregor has had three welterweight fights — two with Diaz and one with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. 

The Mystic Mac Timeline

Few fighters have had a more significant impact on the sport of mixed martial arts than McGregor. He exploded onto the scene in 2013, became a legend in 2016, and then redefined combat sports a year later. If your McGregor knowledge lacks, here’s a quick rundown on the Irishman’s most notable accomplishments and big moments inside the cage.

  • Dec. 31, 2012: McGregor knockouts out Ivan Buchinger at CW51 to become a two-division champ (featherweight and lightweight).
  • April 6, 2013: A 24-year-old Conor McGregor strutted down the aisle of the Ericsson Globe arena in Stockholm to a practically empty arena, hoisting the Irish flag proudly over his mohawked head. In just one minute and seven seconds, McGregor dismantled Marcus Brimage and promptly called out his new boss, Dana White — “Dana, 60 Gs, baby!” — for a post-fight bonus. It was one of the most memorable debuts in the sport’s history. 
  • July 11, 2015: McGregor looked human for the first time in his UFC career. Wrestler Chad Mendes spent the better part of two rounds taking down and bloodying “The Notorious One.” McGregor soon rallied and landed his famous left straight to collapse an exhausted Mendes.
  • Dec. 12, 2015:  After months of heated build-up, McGregor finally stepped into the octagon with the featherweight king at the time, Jose Aldo. If you blinked, you missed it. McGregor caught Aldo moving forward with a left hand and collapsed the legend in 13 seconds. What’s trippy is that there’s footage of McGregor practicing the same step-back left-hand combination just minutes before the bout.
  • Nov. 12, 2016: After his assault on the featherweight division — and two welterweight fights with Nate Diaz — McGregor knocked out lightweight Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden to become the UFC’s first-ever active two-division champion.
  • August 26, 2017: McGregor steps into the ring with legendary boxer Floyd Mayweather and goes 10 rounds with the 50-0 pugilist. He lost but helped to pioneer the modern cross-over events now popular among mixed martial artists and boxers.
  • Jan. 18, 2020: After nearly two years since being out of the game, McGregor returned to fight Donald Cerrone. McGregor knocked out Cowboy, and fans were thrilled to see him return in top form.

What’s Next?

Since his win in Jan. 2020, McGregor has lost his last two fights (both against Poirier), and he’s 1-4 in his last four sanctioned contests (including the bout with Mayweather). 

Still, McGregor says he has two fights left on his contract and sounds motivated to get back in the win column. It’s unclear who and when McGregor will fight next, but whoever stands across him should expect a whole lot more oomph in that legendary left hand. 

Featured Image: @thenotoriousmma on Instagram