Coach John Kavanagh and the other staff at the famed SBG Ireland gym in Dublin, Ireland, have been letting Conor McGregor lead his own training camp for Donald Cerrone.
Kavanagh explained the dynamic in the gym during a recent interview with The Mac Life.
“With Conor’s fighting IQ, with Conor’s understanding of the game, really, this training camp is about all of us getting out of his way,” Kavanagh said of McGregor’s preparation for Cerrone (transcript via MMA Fighting). “Provide him an environment where he gets different looks, different feels, and support him. Where he wants the training camp to go, with intensities, and listening to him – where he has days where he has days where he wants to push hard, and days where he wants to slow down.
“It’s not so much about us coaches sitting down to game plan and then filling Conor in. Conor knows more about fighting than the rest of us put together.”
While there is no doubt that Conor McGregor has a sky-high fight IQ and an innovative approach to the fight game, it’s extremely unconventional for coaching staff to take the back seat to a fighter in this way. Time will tells if this training strategy pays off.
McGregor has not fought since October of 2018, when he was submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov in a bid to reclaim the UFC lightweight title. His next most recent fight before that was a boxing match with undefeated legend Floyd Mayweather Jr., while his second most recent MMA fight occurred all the way back in 2016, when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez to claim the UFC lightweight belt. Because he still held the UFC featherweight belt at the time, that win made him the first fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two weight classes simultaneously. McGregor is currently21-4 in MMA competition.
His foe Cerrone, on the other hand, is coming off a pair of stoppage losses to top lightweight contenders Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson. Prior to that, he picked up consecutive wins over lightweight contenders Al Iaquinta and Alexander Hernandez and welterweight star Mike Perry. He’s 36-13 overall.
McGregor and Cerrone fight in the main event of UFC 246 on January 18. Who do you think will win?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/6/2020.This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM