Coach John Kavanagh would prefer to see Conor McGregor fight Nate Diaz before Khabib Nurmagomedov

Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz

If Conor McGregor fights again — which is starting to sound more and more likely — it will probably be against reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. While McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh is all for this fight, he says he’d prefer to see McGregor engage in a trilogy fight with Nate Diaz first.

“Nate Diaz is my favourite fight, by the way,” Kavanagh said in a Friday sit-down with MMA analyst Robin Black (transcribed Jim Edwards for MMANytt). “If I could pick a fight for the next one it would be that trilogy. I realise it’s not the fan favourite.

“The fan favourite without a close second is the Khabib fight, but for me, it’s the Nate Diaz rematch and I think the Khabib fight is a lot more straight forward.”

Kavanagh then explained why he feels this way.

“For me, he had already lost to him, it’s a bigger guy, Conor’s skill set is shutting people’s consciousness off and [Diaz is] impossible – [he’s got] a freaking Homer Simpson head, he just keeps moving forward,” Kavanagh said.

“Conor’s bravery in it [the fight], I’ve seen Conor fight a lot of people that he’s able to walk through and that’s great, it’s fun and you raise a belt, but it doesn’t it doesn’t really excite me that much, not really.

“But that fight, if you’d been around him, by the time he’d got backstage [after losing the first Diaz fight], we were watching that night, and then the next morning he was not off the phone until Lorenzo and Dana said that would be his next fight.”

Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz have fought twice before. Diaz won the first encounter, tapping McGregor with a rear-naked choke in the first round. McGregor came out on top in the rematch, winning by majority decision after five unforgettable rounds.

Who do you want to see Conor McGregor fight in his return to the cage?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/26/2018.