Conor McGregor’s rise in the UFC – across many weight divisions – has been plagued by constant accusations of illicit steroid use, but considering the Irish fighter has never failed a single drugs test, are the accusations justified?
McGregor began his UFC career at 135 lbs but he’s fought as high as 170 lbs during his 10-year UFC career. In between, we saw McGregor bulk up from a skinny Irish lad with ridiculous punching power to a well-built tank who could easily fight at the middleweight limit of 185 pounds.
With McGregor’s sensational transformation came accusations of steroid use.
Nate Diaz accuses McGregor of Steroids use
The first time that McGregor was accused of using steroids was when he bulked up to fight Nate Diaz in a welterweight match at UFC 196.
At that time, McGregor had just beaten Jose Aldo for the UFC featherweight championship and was due to take on Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight title at that event. But when dos Anjos pulled out of the bout with an injury, Diaz stepped in.
During one of the UFC 196 press conferences, Diaz flat-out accused McGregor of steroid use. Nate’s coach also doubled down on the accusation, claiming that Mcgregor’s move from featherweight to welterweight was unnatural and that how he got so big and ripped so quickly was shady, referring to The Notorious fighting Jose Aldo at 136 pounds in December 2015 and agreeing to fight Diaz at 170 pounds in March 2016.
McGregor Teases Fighting at Middleweight
Five years later, McGregor broke his leg in a loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264. While recuperating from that injury, McGregor continued to train and in his first photos since last fighting inside the Octagon, he looked nearly unrecognisable as he bulked up even further. In one of his social media posts, he claimed to weigh 190 lbs.
Considering he fought Diaz weighing 170 lbs in both UFC 196 and UFC 204, McGregor must have added another 20 lbs of muscle during that span. And with his UFC 264 bout against Poirier in July 2021 fought at 155 lbs, it was another sudden transformation for the Irishman.
McGregor’s new look initiated another round of steroid accusations, with UFC light heavyweight Anthony Smith and UFC personality Joe Rogan among those who accused him of steroid use. Rogan even went as far as saying that “McGregor’s piss would melt the USADA’s cup.”
Accusations of Steroids have never been proved
But for all the accusations of steroid use that were hurled against him, Conor McGregor has never tested positive for any banned substance in his entire UFC career. When he bulked up against Nate Diaz, he didn’t fail a single test. However, when McGregor got bigger after his loss to Poirier, he withdrew from the UFC’s USADA drug testing pool while recovering from injury.
McGregor was expected to re-enrol in the UFC’s drug testing program before June 16th, a deadline which would have made him eligible to fight in the UFC’s last pay-per-view of 2023 – a deadline he missed. The Irishman is currently coaching The Ultimate Fighter 31 opposite former Bellator lightweight king Michael Chandler. As with the previous instalments of the show, the coaches were expected to fight during or after the Finale but that looks out of the window now with McGregor still ineligible in the drug testing pool.
The Notorious was once asked on Twitter last year how he managed to get jacked up and ripped. McGregor’s reply was: “Proper Twelve [whiskey] and Forged Irish Stout. Served alongside my own, organically grown, Irish beef, served on a hot stone. Tidl spray for pain.”