UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling has questioned the change in Conor McGregor's physique.
McGregor, 34, weighed 156lb for his last fight against Dustin Poirier in July of 2021 but has since piled on upwards of 30lb whilst recovering from his leg injury. The former two-weight champion was limited to upper body training to allow his compromised leg to recover and in doing so, has piled on a lot of muscle in the past 18 months.
The Irishman's newfound muscle gain has landed him in hot water with many fighters and fans accusing him of taking steroids. Addressing McGregor's physique on his podcast The Weekly Scraps, Sterling said: "The guy is jacked as ever. I'd like to know what he's on because his arms are ginormous. His head, his chest, he's jacked, bro. He's looking like a bodybuilder now."
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"Only Conor McGregor could post a picture like, these awkward selfie-looking things and get away with it -- because anyone else who did anything like that would get looked at as like a creep or weird. But Conor can do whatever the hell Conor wants, right? He's Conor McGregor."
McGregor has not been tested by USADA, the UFC's anti-doping program, since the third quarter of 2021 and he will need to complete six months of testing before fighting again. USADA has 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 by claiming he is the "most tested fighter all time in combat sports."
The Irishman started his UFC career as a featherweight but has been backed to weigh in at 170lb for his planned return later this year. Sterling thinks McGregor is enjoying being "jacked and happy" after previously looking like "death" when weighing in at 145lb for his old fights. The bantamweight titleholder admitted that many of McGregor's social media posts have made him feel uncomfortable, particularly the selfies in which he looks "tuned up".
“He has been posting a lot of like odd pictures lately," Sterling added. "Like the one where he was like really close to the camera. I was like, 'what is going on with this guy?' It was the one where he was showing his Rolex and was like ‘Cheese!’. I was like dude, what am I looking at? I felt uncomfortable looking at that. Maybe he was tuned up a bit, maybe.”