George Lockhart and Conor McGregor have been good for each other.
The diet and weight-cut expert has been behind some of McGregor’s more serene, controlled and successful trips to the scales. McGregor, in turn, has been a great advertisement for Lockhart as he is a model pupil.
Their last weight-cut together was for the Floyd Mayweather Jr. boxing match, in August 2017, and ‘The Notorious’ came in at 154lbs, a pound lighter than the cut-off point.
On October 5, just under 36 hours from his UFC 229 headliner against Khabib Nurmagomedov, McGregor will step on the promotion’s scales for the first time in 23 months. Lockhart told The Three Amigos MMA podcast that he has no worries about his client coming in at 155lbs, or below.
“Conor is super disciplined… he’s basically the same weight, walking around, now as he was about three years ago,” says Lockhart. “That is basically unheard of. His body-fat percentages are almost the exact same.
“So it’s basically like a repeat process. For his boxing match, when he was fighting Mayweather, I wanted him to come in lighter. I want all cuts to be super simple but speed was obviously higher on the list than it is right now. With wrestling, size is a bigger concern.
“He’ll be a little bit bigger, which is awesome because I’m feeding him more. The funny thing is, the more I feed him the more weight drops off. Like, keeping weight on this guy is insane.
“Our basic principles and fundamentals are that we don’t start the weight cut too far out. A lot of people cut out carbs (early) as they want to see the scales move down. But if you cut out carbs and sodium, the scales will go down but… with Conor, as with like everyone else, we start (the cut) on the Tuesday.
“That’s when we cut back on the sodium. The water intake, we actually boost it by about 10 days out but we also keep the sodium intake high during that time. A lot of the time, if you start water-loading early the weight shoots up and a lot of the guys stress out – ‘Oh shit, I’ve gained five pounds’. But to gain five TRUE pounds, you’d have to consume so much food it’s not even funny. But when you increase the water, that’s all they see.
“So when you increase the water 10 days out, you decrease the salt about three days out… but during fight week, the fighters are actually eating MORE. To drop weight but increase performance is a very fine balance… If you do it correct, in fight week you should be consuming more calories but those calories are being conducive to dropping water weight.”
To keep the likes of McGregor going, while a lot of carbohydrates and salt are being taken out of play, Lockhart feeds them fruit. Some vegetables, he says, but mainly fruit. As for consuming fats, that comes from Omega 3s – salmon, flax seeds and chia seeds.
McGregor will be consuming plenty of water on Tuesday and Wednesday but with 24 hours until he steps on the scales it will be reduced to enough (via ice chips) to keep him ticking over.
“When it comes down to electrolytes and micro-nutrients, we are starting to give them salads,” adds Lockhart. “Very light salads and also a lot of magnesium… we want to make sure they are ingesting magnesium.”
Lockhart normally has his fighters eating avocados as they are a source of good fats and potassium but he often cuts back on serving this up on fight week as it can lead to salt being retained ion the body.
Finally, and this is something McGregor is apparently good at, Lockhart says a good nights’ sleep before the official weight-cut (on Friday) will do fighters more than staying up into the early hours trying to sweat out another pound or two.
Easier said than done but McGregor has followed Lockhart’s words for years now and has yet to miss weight.