Gaethje, Chandler “slightly easier” fight for Conor McGregor than Poirier, says coach

Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier
Image via @ufc on Instagram (photographer not listed)

Coach John Kavanagh believes Dustin Poirier is a tougher opponent for Conor McGregor than Justin Gaethje or Michael Chandler.

Kavanagh has long served as McGregor’s head coach. During a recent interview with TheMacLife, he rated McGregor’s next opponent, Poirier, against two other top lightweights in Gaethje and Chandler.

“I think in terms of opponent difficulty levels, Dustin would be the top of that group,” Kavanagh said. “So if one is replacing Dustin, there’s no nice way of saying it, but it’s a slightly easier fight. Dustin is the best of those guys, in my opinion.”

McGregor already holds a victory over Poirier, having scored a first-round knockout win over his American rival in the featherweight division back in 2014. While Kavanagh views Poirier as a difficult foe nonetheless, he believes McGregor will get the job done again, as he’s one of the two best lightweights on earth.

The other, of course, is UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who defeated McGregor in 2018.

“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 said. “Will he 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.

“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 added. “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?

What do you think of these comments from John Kavanagh? Is Dustin Poirier a tougher test for Conor McGregor than Justin Gaethje or Michael Chandler?

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