As the head coach of Irish superstar Conor McGregor’s, John Kavanagh is tasked with game-planning and training for a fighter who is known to take risks. The Irishman rolled the dice once more and really shook up his preparation for the rematch with Nate Diaz, coach Kavanagh revealed.
McGregor spent $300,000 on fight camp leading into his decision victory over Diaz at UFC 202, but not a penny of it appears to have been wasted. The ‘Notorious’ evened the score with Diaz, who had defeated the Irishman by submission back at UFC 196.
Coach Kavanagh revealed the untold aspects of Conor’s training in preparation for the Diaz rematch:
“We just tried to replicate what fight day would be like,” Kavanagh said. “Get our fight simulations as close to reality as possible. Where as let’s say the lead-up the first Nate fight, it was Conor, Artem and Peter Queally, they are three very, very close friends. They kind of know each other so well, they’re getting changed on the mat together and you are putting your hand wraps on and you’re chatting about your day,” Kavanagh told theMacLife.com.
“It’s not the same feeling in your stomach, it’s not the same approach you have on fight day and that can be a bit shocking if you are not doing that.”
Coach Kavanagh says where the preparation for Nate the first time around was purely physical, McGregor’s approach to training for their rematch was far more mental, according to Kavanagh himself.
“On this one, I remember when he walked into the cage on the actual fight night, and he just walked over to me[…]and I gave him a little bit of water, and he said ‘Yeah, this is just exactly what we have done for the last five months basically. It just feels like gym, it just feels like another training day.’ So, that paid off I feel.”