It seems Conor McGregor has been doing things more than OK ahead of his UFC 257 return.
The combat sports star and former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion returns to action Jan. 23 in Abu Dhabi when he takes on 155-pound contender Dustin Poirier in the main event of the UFC’s first pay-per-view of 2021. In the build-up to the rematch with Poirier, McGregor (22-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) has been looking arguably stronger and more fit than usual.
Tristin Kennedy, McGregor’s nutritionist, told ESPN the Irishman has taken great caution with his nutrition and preparation ahead of the fight.
“He’s in great shape,” Kennedy told ESPN. “Consistency breeds success in nutrition. When he focuses on something and gets down to it, he’s the most consistent man there is.
“On top of that, you have this hard work ethic. I can guide the man, but I can’t eat the food for him. It’s up to him to do all that. And that’s what he does in abundance. He stays consistent to it. It’s that hard work and that professionalism. And then you’ll see the results, like on social media, the kind of condition he’s in. You can see with your eye. But a lot of athletes, they look well, but it’s the performance that really matters. That’s where I take great pride when I see all these fantastic results we’re seeing in how he’s performing.
“Several people have commented already that this is the best shape he’s ever been in. They’re the people that are closest to him throughout all the camps. (Striking coach) Owen Roddy just said it. (Head coach) John Kavanagh just recently said it. I would absolutely agree. I guess going from what I’ve seen and what I know: The man is phenomenal and ready to take on this fight and do well.”
Kennedy, who has a master’s degree in food, nutrition and health from University College Dublin, has been working with McGregor for the past two years. Kennedy said it goes beyond a full-time job, but that’s what’s needed at the highest level of athletics.
“It entails seven-days-a-week work,” Kennedy said. “Obviously, you get time off and things like that. But it entails daily nutrition plans, supplementation guides, cooking, being at all his training sessions, observing, taking data. The more data you take, the better.
“If I need to cook, I need to cook. We’re obviously constantly in contact as well. The better you know your athletes, the better results you can give them and the better program you can give them. And that’s what you see when you see his body composition and his performance in training.”