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Israel Adesanya uses Conor McGregor as an example of what not to do when moving up in weight

Conor McGregor (left); Israel Adesanya (right)
Conor McGregor (left); Israel Adesanya (right)
Johny Payne
Modified 01 Mar 2021

Israel Adesanya cited the example of Conor McGregor in order to explain what not to do when moving up in weight.

Current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will be facing reigning UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz, with the latter’s title on the line, in the headlining bout of UFC 259 (March 6th, 2021).

On that note, UFC middleweight kingpin Israel Adesanya was asked how he feels about not having to cut weight for his upcoming fight, given that the said fight will be contested at light heavyweight and not middleweight.

The Last Stylebender responded to this and went on to cite Conor McGregor’s example on the mistakes one ought to avoid making when moving up in weight. Israel Adesanya stated:

“I could still make 185 (middleweight) if I have to, mark my words. Even if I want to throw a point like Tony, I’m not stupid like that though,” Israel Adesanya explained, alluding to the time Tony Ferguson cut weight twice in a month, which many believe adversely affected Ferguson’s performance and caused him to lose his UFC 249 (May 2020) fight against Justin Gaethje.
“But yeah, I could still make 185 if I want to, but, I don’t know. Yeah, I’m still gonna eat clean, fight week. I’m still gonna jump in the sauna, fight week. I’ll just be able to drink water in the sauna, that’s all. But I just, I’m not gonna differ from anything I normally do. I’m gonna keep the same energy, keep the same routine, just so my brain knows what we’re doing.”
“I remember when Conor (McGregor) fought Nate (Diaz), on the first time, like six days’ notice, and then steaks for breakfast, dinner, you know. And he wasn’t used to that. So, same thing, I’m just gonna keep the same routine, same energy.” (*Video courtesy: It’s Time For Sports; H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)

Israel Adesanya suggested that ahead of his move to the light heavyweight division, he hasn’t made too many changes in his training and is sticking with what has been bringing him success.

Israel Adesanya referenced one of Conor McGregor’s most memorable fights while talking about moving up in weight

Conor McGregor (left); Nate Diaz (right)
Conor McGregor (left); Nate Diaz (right)

The example Israel Adesanya was referring to was when Conor McGregor faced Nate Diaz for the first time, moving from featherweight all the way to welterweight to fight Diaz at UFC 196 (March 2016).

The then-UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor was initially supposed to face then-UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos at the event. However, Dos Anjos withdrew due to injury issues, and Nate Diaz stepped up to take the fight on short notice.

Conor McGregor and the UFC agreed to have the fight contested at welterweight since Nate Diaz didn’t have enough time to cut down to lightweight. Furthermore, now that he too didn’t have to cut down to lightweight, McGregor got off his strict diet and indulged in various delicacies ahead of the UFC 196 welterweight bout.

The Notorious One subsequently clashed with Nate Diaz at UFC 196. And Conor McGregor’s cardio appeared to be adversely affected by the changes he made in his training camp when moving up in weight.


Conor McGregor lost the thrilling back-and-forth fight via second-round submission. McGregor did, however, avenge his loss by defeating Diaz via majority decision at UFC 202 (August 2016).

Published 28 Feb 2021, 04:45 IST
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