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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Donagh Corby

Conor McGregor in 2022: Bulking up to 'heavyweight', 'sex tape' and steroid row

Conor McGregor had a fascinating year in 2022, despite never stepping inside the cage for a fight, or even confirming a date for his comeback.

The legendary former two-weight world champion bulked up to a reported 195lb as he continued recovering from the devastating broken leg he suffered in the summer of 2021, and he confirmed plans to move up to welterweight upon his return. However, he still appears no closer to a fight than he was at the start of the year.

However, despite not fighting, or even doing a great deal of sparring, McGregor has managed to stay in the headlines with his antics over the past 12 months. He has maintained a strong social media presence, and found himself in feuds with a number of major names.

Here's some of McGregor's most memorable moments in 2022...

1. Controversial videos

A key part of McGregor's year has been his growing obsession with posting voice notes and videos on Twitter and Instagram, with varying levels of eccentricity. One video showed him making demands of a butler, seemingly in a plush hotel, and joking that he has him delete all of his controversial social media posts.

He also howled at the moon in the Dominican Republic in another strange video while filming the remake of Road House with Jake Gyllenhaal. But perhaps the strangest one of all was a video on his yacht which appeared to show him with his fiancee Dee Devlin that had some fans convinced he had shared footage of himself receiving oral sex. The video was quickly deleted, but many fans recorded it first and posted it on Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

The most infamous of those videos involved his fiancee Dee Devlin (TheNotoriousMMA/Instagram)

2. Social media rows

One thing that McGregor has particularly enjoyed over the last year of being unable to fight is a lengthy session of late night 'tweet-and-delete' messages. What he will do is post a controversial take, or mock a fellow fighter or celebrity, before deleting the post shortly after.

His usual rivals such as Henry Cejudo and Ali Abdelaziz have been victims of the Irishman's wrath, but he has also taken on politicians and other people during his outbursts. He most recently went after comedian PJ Gallagher before getting into a heated feud with football legend Paul McGrath, who is one of Ireland's most beloved sportspeople.

McGregor has found himself in multiple fights this year, just not in the UFC cage (thenotoriousmma/Instagram)

3. Floyd Mayweather rematch

McGregor suffered a severe injury to his leg in the summer of last year, and could be keen to return with a boxing match as opposed to jumping straight into MMA. The majority of his combat training this past 12 months has taken place in Crumlin Boxing Club, not SBG Ireland, and he appears to be interested in getting in the ring again.

If he decided to do so, he seems to want another shot at legendary boxer Mayweather, whom he lost to by TKO back in 2017. The pair have both teased it, although McGregor did at one point share a picture from their first bout, declaring that he was "not interested" and showing off his many businesses that are keeping him in the money during his time away from fighting.

McGregor has argued that he "carried" Mayweather in their first fight (Getty Images)

4. Bulking up

When McGregor last stepped into the octagon with Dustin Poirier in July of 2021, he had weighed in at 156lb the previous day. After breaking his leg, he committed to training one-legged, which meant a lot of upper body work, and he has emerged from his injury battle around 40lb heavier, without putting on very much fat.

He is absolutely massive these days, bursting out of a lot of his clothes and posing shirtless to show off his new physique. In one Instagram video, McGregor was asked exactly how much he weighed, and joked that he was around 265lb, which would be the limit for a UFC heavyweight.

Conor McGregor is massive these days (TheNotoriousMMA/Instagram)

5. Steroids row

It hasn't been all fun for McGregor this year, however. He's found himself in the midst of a steroid dispute as a result of his quick bulking, and made the issue more confusing when he declared that he would be eligible to return to the USADA drug testing pool in February, likely with an exemption from the six month period most returning fighters need.

USADA have said that they are unlikely to grant McGregor any sort of exception to the six month testing period, and the Irishman has denied any wrongdoing. During a recent spat on social media with Anthony Smith, a former UFC light-heavyweight title contender, he claimed that he was the "most tested fighter all time in combat sport."

Some fighters believe McGregor has had some assistance in his massive bulk (TheNotoriousMMA/Instagram)
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