Why Does Conor McGregor Look Different? (7 Reasons)

Photo of Conor McGregor in 2018 by the Russian Presidential Press and Information Office

Conor McGregor has undergone a noticeable physical transformation since his last fight against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 (July 10, 2021).

While some changes might be attributed to natural aging and lifestyle choices, others have led to widespread speculation about potential factors, including the use of certain substances and medical procedures.

In this article, we explore 7 possible reasons behind McGregor’s different look, keeping in mind that some of these are speculative and without proof.

Why Does Conor McGregor Look Different?

Conor McGregor looks completely different in his body and face because he’s most likely been taking steroids such as Anavar and Human Growth Hormone (HGH). He also had a hair transplant and it’s rumored that he uses alcohol and cocaine, two drugs that can age you.

Natural aging, male pattern baldness, a hair transplant, and potential botox may have also contributed to how Conor McGregor looks completely different.

He went from having a lean face with a narrow and elongated head shape, when he likely weighed around 175 lbs, to having a much larger frame with a bloated, thicker, and rounder body, head, and face.

Most apparent was how different his face looked. It had turned to a pink/red color, the skin was tight, bloated, and full, and he generally looked aged and not as healthy. His head and face seemed to grow larger, especially his jaw.

Anavar and HGH are steroids that Conor McGregor would’ve started taking to help heal the broken leg he sustained in his last UFC fight against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 (July 10, 2021).

There’s scientific evidence suggesting that HGH can accelerate bone regeneration and healing, while the anabolic effects of Anavar can support the rebuilding of bone and muscle tissue.

While steroids are the main reason that Conor McGregor looks so different, 7 reasons may have contributed. Let’s take a look at each.

1. Conor McGregor’s Steroid Use: Anavar and HGH

The most talked-about reason for Conor McGregor’s changed appearance is the speculated use of steroids, particularly Anavar and Human Growth Hormone (HGH).

These substances are known for their significant impact on physical appearance. Anavar can increase muscle mass and reduce body fat, leading to a more defined physique.

It may also contribute to hair loss due to its impact on dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels, which is something we see in McGregor.

On the other hand, Human Growth Hormone promotes muscle growth and may affect skin health and facial bone structure.

Excessive use of HGH can lead to a condition known as acromegaly, which involves the enlargement of bones, particularly in the jawline, brow ridge, and potentially the cheekbones.

This can result in a more prominent or altered facial structure, contributing to Conor McGregor’s changed appearance. HGH can also cause skin changes and may contribute to a thicker, more elastic skin texture.

Additionally, HGH is known to cause water retention, leading to facial bloating and a fuller appearance, which aligns with the changes observed in McGregor’s facial features.

Conor McGregor’s steroid use helped him build a lot of muscle, which made him appear much larger in a short time.

In the fight against Dustin Poirier (UFC 264), he likely weighed around 170-175 lbs, but 6 months later, he weighed around 200 lbs, a 5 or 6 lb gain each month.

Even without the use of steroids, someone who’d gone up 25 or 30 lbs in weight in such a short time would have noticeably more fat in their face.

However, the combination of muscle gain and potential water retention from HGH use could further accentuate this change.

Moreover, long-term steroid use can put stress on the liver and kidneys, which might manifest in changes in skin color or texture.

Such stress can lead to a sallow or unhealthy complexion, potentially contributing to the altered appearance observed in McGregor.

Also, while not his appearance, McGregor’s voice has deepened. Anabolic steroids can affect hormone levels, potentially leading to changes in voice depth and tone.

2. Male Pattern Baldness and Hair Loss

Male pattern baldness and hair thinning are common issues many men face, and McGregor seems to be no exception.

Conor McGregor’s hair loss was very noticeable in the months following his UFC 264 loss, which greatly contributed to him looking different.

His hairline started to recede, and during his scuffle with MGK on the red carpet, his hair is very thin on top. It got so bad that he shaved his hair in November.

3. Hair Transplant

Following the hair loss, McGregor appears to have undergone a hair transplant sometime in early 2022, a common procedure for addressing baldness. 

This procedure seemed to bring Conor McGregor’s hairline forward and increase the hair density on top.

While he looked more like himself again, the hair transplant was noticeable as the lines were almost too perfect.

4. Heavy Alcohol Consumption

Conor McGregor’s establishment of his whisky brand, Proper No. Twelve, and his foray into the pub business, such as opening the Black Forge Inn, have publicly aligned him with the alcohol industry.

While there’s no definitive information about his personal drinking habits, it’s no secret that Conor McGregor likes to party and drink some alcohol from time to time.

This alcohol consumption may have contributed to his facial bloating, puffiness, aging, and redness.

Alcohol affects the body in several ways that can be visibly reflected in the face and skin:

Facial Bloating and Puffiness: Alcohol can cause water retention, leading to facial bloating. 

This puffiness is often most noticeable in the facial area, giving a swollen appearance, especially after periods of heavy drinking.

Skin Dehydration and Aging: Alcohol is a diuretic, which leads to increased water loss. 

This dehydration can cause the skin to appear more dry and flaky, and over time, may contribute to premature aging, as dehydrated skin is more prone to developing wrinkles and fine lines.

Redness and Rosacea: Regular alcohol consumption can lead to persistent redness in the face.

Alcohol dilates the blood vessels in the skin, which can exacerbate conditions like rosacea, resulting in a more permanently reddened complexion, particularly on the cheeks and nose.

Broken Capillaries: Heavy drinking over time can lead to broken capillaries, especially around the nose and face, giving a veined, reddish appearance.

Dark Circles and Eye Bags: Alcohol can negatively impact sleep quality, leading to fatigue, manifesting as dark circles or bags under the eyes.

It’s important to emphasize that these effects aren’t uniform and can vary widely among individuals. 

However, it’s definitely possible that alcohol consumption contributed to Conor McGregor’s significantly worse look. It seems more likely when you consider he hasn’t fought in nearly 3 years.

5. Cocaine Use

While this remains speculative and his use unconfirmed, the use of substances like cocaine can have noticeable effects on appearance.

Cocaine use can lead to skin issues, an aged appearance, and changes in facial features due to its impact on overall health.

Accelerated Aging: Cocaine use can lead to lifestyle choices that accelerate the aging process. This includes irregular sleep patterns, nutritional deficiencies, and increased stress levels, all of which can contribute to premature aging of the skin. 

Users might notice more pronounced lines, wrinkles, and a general loss of skin elasticity and vibrancy.

Skin Issues: Regular cocaine use can lead to various skin problems. This includes the development of acne, which can be exacerbated by the drug’s effects on the body’s stress response and hormonal balance. 

Additionally, cocaine can cause skin to appear dull and lifeless, and in some cases, users might experience skin sores or infections, particularly if the drug is cut with harmful substances.

6. Potential Botox and Cheek Fillers

The noticeable changes in Conor McGregor’s facial appearance have led to speculation about the potential use of cosmetic procedures, particularly Botox and cheek fillers. 

Botox is known for its ability to smooth out wrinkles and is commonly used in the forehead area.

In McGregor’s case, the apparent tightness and lack of wrinkles in his eyebrow and forehead region have fueled beliefs that he might have undergone Botox treatments.

Botox works by temporarily paralyzing the facial muscles, leading to a reduction in the appearance of expression lines. 

This can result in a smoother, more youthful-looking forehead but may also reduce the range of facial expressions, contributing to a “frozen” or less expressive appearance.

Additionally, the use of cheek fillers could explain changes in McGregor’s facial structure. Fillers are designed to add volume and contour, potentially altering the natural lines and shape of the face.

When applied to the cheeks, they can create a fuller, more defined look, but if overdone, they might give the face an unnaturally rounded or puffy appearance.

7. Natural Aging Process

Another key factor to consider in the transformation of Conor McGregor’s appearance is the simple, unavoidable process of aging. 

Conor McGregor was nearing his 33rd birthday around the time of his UFC 264 fight and is now approaching 36 (July 14th). 

With age, skin typically loses elasticity and collagen, leading to more pronounced wrinkles and fine lines, and a general change in skin texture. 

Additionally, the redistribution of facial fat can alter facial contours, making some areas appear fuller while others may seem more hollowed.

The Bottom Line

Overall, the transformation in Conor McGregor’s appearance since his UFC 264 fight in 2021 can be largely attributed to the speculated use of steroids, particularly Anavar and Human Growth Hormone (HGH). 

Anavar’s role in increasing muscle mass and potentially contributing to hair loss, combined with HGH’s effects on muscle growth, skin health, and the enlargement of facial bone structure, offers a plausible explanation for the most noticeable changes in McGregor’s appearance. 

These include his enlarged jaw and the tight, bloated, and rounded look of his face.

However, it’s important to recognize the multifaceted nature of this transformation. Factors such as natural aging, lifestyle choices, rumored drug abuse, and potential cosmetic procedures also play significant roles.

Each of these elements, individually and in combination, could contribute to the overall change in his physical appearance.

While the precise impact of each factor remains speculative, the cumulative effect aligns with the observed changes in McGregor’s physique and facial features.

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