John Kavanagh believes “it would be phenomenal” to see a rematch between his star pupil Conor McGregor and reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
McGregor, the former lightweight and featherweight champion, challenged Nurmagomedov for his title in 2018. While the Irishman performed as well as anybody against the unbeaten Russian, he was ultimately submitted in the fourth round of the fight.
Despite the conclusive outcome of that first Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor fight, many fans have been clamoring for a rematch between the two stars. Kavanagh, for his part, is certainly interested in a do-over, though he admits Nurmagomedov’s retirement makes the possibility very uncertain.
“I think Conor and Khabib are the two best lightweights, and it would be for me, of course from a coaching perspective, it would be phenomenal to see that contest again,” Kavanagh told The Mac Life. “Will [Nurmagomedov] come back? You’re asking the wrong guy. That’s Khabib. He seems the type of guy that if he says something, that’s it, but like Dana has hinted, it seems to me there might be some wiggle room in those promises made. So you know, time will tell.”
While Kavanagh would like to see a rematch between McGregor and Nurmagomedov, he’s currently focused on his student’s upcoming showdown with Dustin Poirier, which goes down at UFC 257 on January 17.
Given the uncertainty surrounding Nurmagomedov’s fighting future, and by association the lightweight title, Kavanagh is surprised there won’t be a belt on the line when McGregor and Poirier collide.
“Right now we have a very exciting fight coming up in a couple of weeks’ time, and I think 2021, regardless of what’s next for Conor, it’s going to be an exciting year,” Kavanagh said. “I don’t know what the exact plan is, but I don’t really get why this one isn’t for the title, if I’m being 100 percent honest. Maybe it’s Dana; this is a little carrot towards Khabib. ‘Do you really want this guy to’ – I don’t know. I know those types of games that go on. I don’t involve myself in it. But this, to me, feels like it’s for the belt, but I guess, at the very least, the winner of this would be offered a title fight, but who would that be against?
“It’s a bit of a strange scene that we have in front of us, which makes it interesting,” Kavanagh added.
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