Conor McGregor looks unrecognisable after transformation from skinny contender

Conor McGregor almost looks like a completely different fighter from the man who first graced the UFC cage.

The Irishman began life in the premier MMA promotion as a featherweight and struggled to make the 145lb limit.

By the time he took on Jose Aldo for the title in 2015, concerns were raised about what he was putting his body through.

The extreme weight cut was clearly taking a toll and McGregor's stunning 13-second KO proved his last outing in the division.

He has since had two fights at lightweight and three at welterweight and returns to the 155lb division tonight against Dustin Poirier.

McGregor weighed in at the championship weight yesterday while Poirier settled for scaling 156lb, more than six years after their first fight ended in an early stoppage for the Dubliner.

And former UFC title challenger and current analyst Dan Hardy told Mirror Fighting: "I think he looks in better shape now than he did when he fought Cowboy [Cerrone].

"He's brought his weight down to the 155lb limit but the muscle mass he gained in that time has stayed with him which means he's had to lose some body fat and I think he looks leaner and stronger."

McGregor made his name in the MMA world at both featherweight and lightweight as he won both titles in the Cage Warriors promotion.

He had intended to make his UFC debut in the heavier weight class but was booked to fight Marcus Brimage at featherweight.

McGregor went on to beat Max Holloway, Diego Brandao, Poirier, Denis Siver and Chad Mendes before demolishing Aldo.

When he moved up to welterweight for a double-header against Nate Diaz, he quipped: "You've seen me on salads, now watch me on steaks!"

McGregor was choked out in his first meeting with Diaz but rebounded in the rematch with a hard-fought points win.

The 32-year-old has been out of action for over a year since his 40-second stoppage of Donald Cerrone.

But he has been in an almost constant training camp since then and his new 'hench' look has drawn plenty of attention.

His conditioning coach Colin Byrne to Mirror Fighting: "With Conor, we built on the foundations; people are saying he looks different body-wise, and that's because we've been at it for five years now.

"We haven't trained for an aesthetic, he just looks like that from training because he's training constantly and consistently."

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