UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor has offered insight into his training regimen ahead of his lightweight title challenge against Rafael dos Anjos.
The Irishman is seeking to become the first man to simultaneously hold two world titles in separate weight classes, a feat he will achieve should he beat the Brazilian at UFC 197 on March 5. And just over a month on from his famous win over Jose Aldo at UFC 194, McGregor looks to be working hard once again.
Here’s a look at a couple of videos the 27-year-old posted on his Instagram account, one showing pull-ups on power rings and the other shuttle runs:
McGregor also posted the following snap, in which he’s sporting a new cropped haircut:
It’s little surprise to see preparations have begun for UFC 197, as the bout with Dos Anjos is likely to be the biggest test of McGregor’s career to date.
At featherweight, he has proved beyond dispute that he's a world-class competitor, having overcome Chad Mendes and Aldo last year. A move to lightweight is a significant step, though.
As we can see below, Dos Anjos finished his last fight against Donald Cerrone in emphatic style:
Dos Anjos seems to have the setup to nullify McGregor and has vowed to “humble” the featherweight champion, per David St. Martin of MMA Fighting.
By contrast, the Irishman has stated he will “behead” his upcoming opponent and has also called the Brazilian a “traitor to his people” on Instagram previously.
Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter thinks a win over Dos Anjos would propel McGregor into the reckoning to be considered one of the best of all time:
Jeremy Botter @jeremybotter
If McGregor beats Dos Anjos, there won’t be much argument against him being #1 P4P right now. But where would he rank all time?2016-1-12 22:05:43
Although the lightweight limit will be much more natural for McGregor, moving up in size will rob him of some of the advantages he enjoyed at featherweight.
Naturally, the guys in this division will have power comparable to McGregor's and longer reaches, and—especially in the case of Dos Anjos—they will be much better equipped to take the Irishman to the mat.
Still, plenty have doubted McGregor before, and the bullish Irishman has always overcome the odds. Mendes was expected to cause him problems, as was former pound-for-pound king Aldo. Dos Anjos is now viewed the same way, but you wouldn't want to bet against McGregor finding a way to win.