With the days ticking away leading up to Conor McGregor’s heavily-anticipated return to the Octagon to face Donald Cerrone in the main event of UFC 246, fans can now catch a glimpse of how the former “champ-champ” has looked in training camp. The McGregor camp released training footage via his Instagram account, showing the Irishman going through the paces of various pad and mitt work.

Not having to make a cut to 155 pounds for the Jan. 18 fight from Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, McGregor looks thick through his upper body, which may or may not give fans pause at the potential impact it could have on his speed in the striking game. There is also a seeming focus on working the body, which has been a potential weakness of Cerrone’s in the past throughout his career.

McGregor has not fought in UFC since losing his lightweight title opportunity against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October 2018. A combination of a suspension for the post-fight brawl with the Nurmagomedov camp, a short-lived retirement, injuries and legal troubles have contributed to keeping McGregor out of action. UFC president Dana White has stated McGregor will earn a shot at the lightweight title opposite the winner of the long-awaited Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson showdown in April with a victory over Cerrone. 

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More UFC news, rumors

  • A rematch between Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade has been booked for UFC 249 in Brooklyn on April 18 after Andrade won the strawweight championship in their first meeting last May. Namajunas had been performing well in defense of her title until the point when Andrade exploded with a violent slam knockout in the second round. The winner of the rematch will likely be positioned to face the winner of the March 7 fight between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and champion Weili Zhang.
  • Sean O’Malley’s return to the Octagon can now go ahead without any further USADA obstacles. O’Malley had been sidelined after August out-of-competition urine samples were flagged as potential doping violations, it was the second such case for O’Malley. Now, USADA said “the pattern of low urinary ostarine concentrations observed in multiple samples provided by O’Malley was consistent with exposure to ostarine as a contaminant.” This frees O’Malley up for his scheduled March 7 bout with Jose Quinonez at UFC 248.
  • Patricio Pitbull will put the Bellator featherweight title on the line at Bellator 241 when he faces Pedro Carvalho on March 13. Their bout is part of the Featherweight World Grand Prix, with the winner advancing to the tournament semifinals but also taking home the championship belt.