The much-anticipated return of Conor McGregor won’t go down until April or mid-2018, but good things come to those who wait. For a long while, it seemed like it was nearly a done deal that his opponent when he returned back to the Octagon would Nate Diaz, but those talks slowly went quiet and more buzz around Tony Ferguson heated up. No matter who the Irish double-champ stands across the cage from, coach John Kavanagh wants to let everyone know that they’ll be dealing with an even more dangerous version of McGregor on the feet.
“To be honest, some of the things we’ve come away with from the Mayweather fight. When would an MMA guy have a chance to take six months just to focus on one aspect of MMA? Never is the answer, they’re always trying to work on everything. But when he does return to the Octagon, his hands are going to be a lot better than what they were. And I’m excited to see that.”
Boxing is a mad game. pic.twitter.com/Nyzywv8H7O
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 17, 2017
“You know, I was rolling with him two weeks ago and I was wondering how his jiu jitsu would be. And I was very annoyed that he took my back and choked me. So, he hasn’t lost too much there. Of course, he has to tighten up there before he goes to fight in the Octagon again. But he really does love grappling. Even in the lead up to the Mayweather fight, he would still kind of ask you about wrestling or jiu jitsu. And he’d say, ‘Hey, look at this.’ I know it’s in his head all the time although he wasn’t physically training it. I know mentally he’s still thinking about it.” — John Kavanagh speaking to the Daily Star.
It seems like even now Conor McGregor’s coach is still planting seeds of a title unification bout with interim UFC lightweight champ Tony Ferguson. Teasing that he’d have to ‘tighten up’ on his ground game before his next opponent. Don’t rule out a possible trilogy-ending scrap with Diaz, although Tyron Woodley has been in talks to fight the Stockton soldier but has run into allegedly problematic demands. A bout against McGregor would most likely only exacerbate negotiation tactics.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 11/21/2017.