The UFC pro got ready to go head-to-head with Floyd Mayweather using cycling as cardio prep. – By Molly Hurford
Conor McGregor may be one of the top contenders in the UFC, but the mixed martial artist also takes his cross-training seriously. Before his historic fight with the legendary Floyd Mayweather on Saturday, he opted for a brutal cycling regimen as his cardio. The fight didn’t go McGregor’s way, but at least now he’s ready for a cyclocross race or two.
Training for a boxing match doesn’t just require quick reflexes and a brutal right hook. Competitors need cardio training to last in the ring, in order to stay focused as heart rates skyrocket. In lightweight and featherweight divisions, where McGregor fights, speed and endurance are key. (Watch a heavyweight match followed by a lightweight match, and you’ll notice a marked difference in aerobic capacity.)
So, to prep for this fight, McGregor trained outside on the bike with buddies, though clearly no one explained to him that bib shorts typically mean wearing a jersey over them. During this set of training sessions, he opted for a flat-bar custom bike.
McGregor also trained inside on a spin bike, with a serious pain face similar to what spectators would eventually see in his fight with Mayweather. (The question of why he wore bike shorts outside, but opted for gym shorts indoors, remains.)
The lead-up to Saturday’s fight wasn’t the first time McGregor opted for two-wheeled training. Last summer, ahead of his MMA fight with Nate Diaz, McGregor trained in the desert outside Las Vegas with former Irish Road Race Champion Julian Dalbyon. (At least this season, he upgraded to proper-fitting bib shorts.)