When Nate Diaz suggested that the entire UFC — including Conor McGregor — was on steroids during the UFC 196 press conference last week, many shrugged it off as Nate Diaz being Nate Diaz and saying things that don’t carry much weight. However, he’s not the only person who believes that rampant steroid use is a problem in the UFC. As a matter of fact, Diaz’s boxing coach, Richard Perez, pinpoints McGregor as a steroid user.
Perez made the accusation during his interview on the “Submission Radio” podcast and didn’t hold back.
“Oh I sure do believe that, heck yeah. Some guys, they get busted — and to be honest with you, I know McGregor has got to be on some kind of steroids," Perez said when asked whether Diaz’s comments had any validity to them. "He’s pretty big, and then all of a sudden [he’s] jumping to 170? Yeah there’s no way, cause I mean, he was supposed to be fighting at 155."
Perez has an issue with the fact that McGregor was preparing for a fight at lightweight but with two weeks to go he is able to take on a welterweight. It should be noted that McGregor has long been considered a “big” featherweight and his struggles to make the 145-pound weight limit have been well documented. But that doesn’t matter much to Perez, who believes that McGregor’s guilt was shown as soon as he responded to Diaz’s claims.
“When Nathan mentioned it to him, he got defensive, he got angry," he said. "If somebody would have told me that I was fighting and [taking] steroids, I would laugh and say, 'yeah give me some more steroids, heck yeah!' But he got defensive and mad [saying] ‘I’m not on steroids, I’m not on steroids!’ Just his actions and the way he talked, there’s something behind that."
Perez went on to say that McGregor may have had problems making the 155-pound weight limit for his fight with Rafael dos Anjos because he was likely doing something “shady” that caused his weight to jump.
“All I know is that he was supposed to fight at 155, and for some reason I don’t think he would have made the weight, because he was trying to go to 165 and then he went to 170," Perez said. "You would think he had two more weeks to go, he would be close to 155 and stay on that or go to 160. But he didn’t, he jumped to 170. So that’s kinda shady right there.”
This contradicts the reports that Diaz having a short camp and would likely struggle to make the 155-pound limit is the reason why the fight ended up at 170.
Regardless of the speculations on whether McGregor uses PEDs, the fight will go on. And Perez feels that the Irishman will be in for a big surprise come March 5. "McGregor is a good striker," Perez said when asked about McGregor’s vaunted striking that has seen him record five straight knockouts, including the 13-second stoppage of Jose Aldo in December. "Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying he's not, but Nathan's better. I mean, when Nathan's on his gameplan he'll make him look silly."