DF SPORT PREVIEW MCGREGOR

CONOR MCGREGOR is feeling “happy and strong” as he gears up to make his blockbuster return to the UFC.

The MMA superstar is in the final stages of recovering from the horrific broken leg he suffered in his trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier last July.

Conor McGregor has been hard at work in the gym during his year away from the cage

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Conor McGregor has been hard at work in the gym during his year away from the cageCredit: INSTAGRAM@THENOTORIOUSMMA
The UFC's poster boy has bulked up considerably during his time off

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The UFC’s poster boy has bulked up considerably during his time offCredit: INSTAGRAM@THENOTORIOUSMMA
The Notorious has kept his fans up to date with his workouts on social media

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The Notorious has kept his fans up to date with his workouts on social mediaCredit: INSTAGRAM@THENOTORIOUSMMA
McGregor is feeling "happy and strong" as he prepares to return early next year

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McGregor is feeling “happy and strong” as he prepares to return early next yearCredit: INSTAGRAM@THENOTORIOUSMMA

McGregor, 34, has been pumping plenty of iron during his 16-month layoff and packed on several pounds of muscle as a result.

And the Irishman is feeling primed and ready to make his return to the octagon.

Last week, the former two-division champion shared a string of photos of himself looking big and strong in the gym to his Instagram page.

The snaps showed a topless McGregor performing a number of gruelling exercises – which made his muscles bulge at the seams as he performed them.

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His accompanying caption read: “Happy and strong.”

The Irishman’s legion of followers quickly commented, with one saying: “You’re always training, man.”

Another said: “Looking fantastic and ready to rumble.”

And another said: “Let’s go, champ.”

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McGregor recently claimed his newfound muscle has seen him bulk up to the UFC’s heavyweight limit.

During an impromptu Instagram Live, the Dubliner responded to a question about his weight from former UFC star Yoel Romero by saying: “I don’t know, mate. But big! Big anyway.

“I’d say I’m about 265lbs, yeah! In the bank, I’m heavy in the bank I am.”

McGregor is currently wrapping up his scenes for the upcoming Road House remake and is targeting an early 2023 return to the cage.

The UFC’s first simultaneous two-weight world champion said: “I’m going to be back soon, hopefully.

“Early 2023 I’m aiming for. Sometime in that first quarter. That will give me a good couple of months [to prepare].

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“Once I wrap this up in a couple of days, get the camp going [for] a good couple of months. And get going.”

McGregor, however, is currently out of the USADA drug testing programme and will need to be enrolled in it for six months before returning – unless he’s given an exemption to the pool requirements for returning athletes.



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