There's been a lot of talk surrounding Conor McGregor lately. Even for him, the amount of speculation about what his next move within the UFC will be has been near constant.
Since the fallout over UFC 200, we've seen the Irishman retire young, return, announce that he's on the 200 card, get his comments shot down by Dana White, and then finally promote a boxing match between himself and Floyd Mayweather. Oh, and all the time he's still tirelessly hyping his seemingly inevitable rematch with Nate Diaz.
Throughout this whirlwind of PR messes and random announcements, McGregor has been uploading a series of photos and there's one thing very noticeable about his appearance ... It seems like the Dubliner is getting much, much leaner.
The MMA world was shocked when "Mystic Mac" announced he'd be going up not one but two weight classes to take on the challenge of Diaz at welterweight at UFC 196. A challenge that ended up being a bit too much for McGregor, many called for him to return to the featherweight division and take on Frankie Edgar.
A return to featherweight is something Conor McGregor will truly have to do sooner rather than later. After storming through the division and capturing the title in stunning fashion via his 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo, McGregor signaled his intentions to hold two belts simultaneously at two different weight classes. If McGregor wants to keep this dream alive, he first must go back and defend his belt against an increasingly frustrated 145-pound division. And again with more photos the Dubliner has uploaded, it looks like he could be doing just that.
The featherweight division is starting to kick up a lot of noise, so much so that the UFC has handed them an interim title bout between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar, an unprecedented decision by the promotion seeing McGregor is neither injured, suspended or unable to fight. Rather, the interim belt can be seen as a tactical move from the UFC. The belt will allow them to reign in the power over McGregor ever so slightly, but still just enough. If he refuses to return to his featherweight division, the UFC can strip him of his belt and crown the interim champion.
Many feel that Conor McGregor is either so obsessed with the rematch against Diaz that he's solely focused on that and nothing else, while others are starting to murmur that the "Notorious" one is ducking a fight with Edgar. Edgar and his coach certainly hold that feeling. However, with each photo tweeted or posted to his social media accounts, it's plain to see that McGregor is indeed much leaner than he was pre-UFC 196.
Of course, as always, Conor has an answer. Over Twitter he dispelled critic and fan questions alike, citing Diaz for making more excuses for the first eight minutes of the fight before the submission finish. With McGregor looking to set the record straight in his comeback fight, the featherweight champ has already stated that he's not playing around with the rematch and has learned from his mistakes. He knows that he gassed out, and when that happens no amount of skill can help you.
Many viewed the jump in weight class as the deciding factor for McGregor's lack of aerobic fitness. This time, it may not be a problem and it also may be the reason we're seeing a slimmer, leaner Conor McGregor in the past few weeks. Taking to Twitter, "Notorious" had this to say.
But what do you guys think? Is McGregor still training for a rematch against Nate Diaz post-UFC 200? Or is he heading back to the featherweight division to silence his critics and cement his claim as champion? Let us know below!