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It is perhaps natural to wonder exactly what sort of shape Conor McGregor will walk to the cage on Saturday night in.

The Dubliner, who will be competing in the cage for the first as a thirty-something, is known for setting a high pace in the cage — and Dana White says that we can expect to see the fittest, strongest version of Conor McGregor this weekend in his welterweight contest with Donald Cerrone at UFC 246.

“I’m hearing he’s in phenomenal shape right now,” White said of McGregor to TMZ Sports. “The UFC doctor is actually saying he thinks Conor is in the best shape he’s ever seen him in.”

Of course, McGregor has already displayed his capacity to fight five high-paced rounds as he did in the UFC 202 rematch with Nate Diaz at the end of the summer in 2016 and White says that he sees McGregor in a similar type of headspace as he was in advance of that fight — but it keen to not discount the skills that Cerrone will bring with him into the Octagon late on Saturday night.

“(His) head seems to be in the right place. Ring rust is real – I believe in it. We’ll see how that goes. And I think that the level of disrespect shown to ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone by the media, a lot of the fans, and definitely the sports books in Las Vegas, is insanity.

“This fight is interesting in a lot of different levels,” White continued. “Obviously, Conor’s been out for a while. Conor has fought two times at 170. He’s got a win and a loss at 170. I believe in ring rust. ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone has gone on these two-fight skids before and come back. ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone is almost one of those guys that needs something big to fight for. It’s more than just the money, all the things that go along with it. This is the type of fight that ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone is an absolute spoiler in. This is his deal. These are the type of fights he likes to be in.

“(Cerrone has) fought at 170 many times, (and) is comfortable at 170. Conor McGregor will probably weigh in at 169 or 168 or somewhere around there. It’s even hard for Conor to hit 170. So (it’s a) very interesting fight (with) two of the baddest in the business to ever do it, and this is a fun one.”