Coach John Kavanagh gives a timeline for Conor McGregor’s UFC return
SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh recently took a trip “down under” in order to promote his memoirs “Win or Learn”.
While in Australia, the famed coach was of coursed asked numerous questions regarding his star pupil, UFC lightweight champion of the world Conor McGregor.
Obviously the main question directed towards Kavanagh was the probability of the proposed Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing super-fight coming to fruition. In addition to answering that question, Coach Kavanagh also gave a timeline for Conor’s octagon return, this if the fight with Mayweather falls through.
“What I see happening this year is the Mayweather fight, maybe the end of the summer or something like that”, Kavanagh said (as transcribed by TheMacLife). “(But) let’s say Mayweather doesn’t want to do it, for whatever reason. Then I could see us fighting in MMA by the end of the summer, (for) the lightweight belt. One thing you’ve got to understand about Conor — and this might rattle your bones — is his motivation is not money when it comes to fighting. Right now, even with his ridiculous spending habits, he wouldn’t be able to spend his money by the time he retired. It’s not money that’s getting him up in the morning. It’s the competition. It’s facing someone he genuinely feels is a threat.”
“Like when we lost to Nate (Diaz), he could’ve gone straight down to lightweight and fought (Eddie) Alvarez, who turned out to be a pretty straightforward opponent. But that wasn’t his interest. His interest was ‘I’ve got to beat this guy, this guy’s beaten me’. That’s a real challenge … I don’t know what name out there in the lightweight division is that guy. I would have loved to see Khabib (Nurmagomedov) and Tony (Ferguson) have a great fight (for the interim title), the winner win definitively and get on the mic and call out Conor. And I know that would get him riled up. That didn’t happen.”
The SBG Ireland had hoped that McGregor would be fighting the winner of the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson fight which was slated to occur at UFC 209 this past March. However, the bout between “El Cucuy” and “The Eagle” never came to fruition, this after the Russian standout pulled out of the event last minute due to health reasons. Nonetheless, Kavanagh doesn’t believe Ferguson or Nurmagomedov would pose much of a threat to his star student.
“I had picked Khabib to win that”, Kavanagh stated. “I thought he would be in a few difficult situations for the first round or two and then he’d wear down Tony as he does to all his opponents. It will sound cocky but I genuinely don’t see a massive challenge in either of them. If you look at their last couple of fights — Khabib got badly rocked by (Michael) Johnson and he really struggles to make that weight. I think a great fight for Khabib would be Gunnar Nelson (at welterweight) this summer. Khabib actually weighs more than Gunnar outside of fighting. I’ve heard he weighs 90kg. Gunni is 81kg. And Tony, he fought that guy (Lando Vannata) who just came into the UFC and got punched around for a couple of rounds and then fair play to Tony, he’s tough as nails, he took a lot of punishment and then went on to win. But you can’t do that with Conor. In round one, if you eat four or five solid shots, unless you’re Nate Diaz, you are going to be unconscious. He’s a one-off. That’s just Homer Simpson there. He’s a one-off.”
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