Conor McGregor is being lauded by his trainer for the tremendous shape that he is in and it’s fair to say that McGregor does look like the picture of health and athleticism at this stage. There hasn’t ever really been a time that the Irishman has been out of shape over the duration of his career but to see him looking the way he does after 15 months of inactivity, well, that’s impressive, no matter which way you look at it.
McGregor is taking his anticipated return to the Octagon very seriously after his humiliating loss against Khabib Nurmagomedov. Khabib is a great warrior and one of the toughest men in the whole of the UFC so it wasn’t humiliating in the sense that McGregor lost to an inferior opponent, far from it as the Russian is the UFC Lightweight Champion for a very good reason.
"You guys are in for a real treat."@John_Kavanagh believes Conor McGregor is in the best shape he's ever seen him…
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) January 1, 2020
It was more to do with the way that the Irishman treated his opponent in the build-up to the fight that made his loss embarrassing. Tapping out in the manner he did in Vegas made him look very much second best and for once, it looked like McGregor couldn’t back up the checks that his mouth was cashing.
Redemption now comes in the form of a bout with a rather patchy American fighter and it is widely expected that he will get back to winning ways if you go on the latest odds on Conor McGregor v Donald Cerrone. At just 4/11 McGregor is the heavy favourite against a man that suffered 13 losses in his career.
Cerrone is the perfect comeback opponent for McGregor in many ways but it’s worth keeping in mind that Cerrone fought four times over 2019 and managed wins in three of them. This is where the 31-year-old’s camp will be warning of the dangers of Cerrone’s fight readiness. It’s all good and well looking the part on Instagram but McGregor needs to win a fight and won’t do that with the likes he gets, or with the words his trainer uses to wax lyrical about him.
It’s all about blood and thunder once the referee starts the bout and coming at McGregor will be hard hands and a desire to beat the king or at least the man that the world talks about more than any other fighter.
No better way to open a decade!
— UFC (@ufc) January 1, 2020
Given that the Irishman has been out of action for over 450 days, the chance is there for a man like Cerrone to beat him. Make no mistake, Conor McGregor will have to dig deep in order to get the victory and his stomach for battle will be examined by a man that has been more active than he has. The stakes are as high as they have ever been for McGregor and the mountain ahead a steep one, it’s now or never with the future of the 31-year-old on the line.