John Kavanagh condemns fighters who attacked Conor McGregor in UFC 229 riot: ‘What they did is literally criminal’

Conor McGregor, John Kavanagh, Khabib Nurmagomedov

Shortly after Khabib Nurmagomedov submitted Conor McGregor in the UFC 229 main event, he leapt over the side of the Octagon and attacked McGregor’s training partner Dillon Danis. McGregor then attempted to chase Nurmagomedov, but was intercepted by a pair of the Russian champion’s training partners, including one who punched him in the back of the head from behind.

In the wake of this event, McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh has stated that he doesn’t fault Khabib Nurmagomedov for losing his tempter and attacking Danis. That being said, Kavanagh recently divulged that he considers the actions of the fighters who attacked McGregor in the Octagon to be absolutely reprehensible.

“So when Khabib jumped out of the octagon, it wasn’t that big of a deal to me,” Kavanagh said in an interview with Independent.ie. “He jumped down and shoved Dillon, Dillon shoved him back and it was over. What the other guys did was a lot more disturbing because Conor had a very tough fight and then the guy hits him in the back of the head.

“That’s how I felt about those guys who ran into the octagon,” he added. “They weren’t involved in the fight, it was between Khabib and Conor. I think what they did is literally criminal.”

Given the lingering heat between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov’s teams, there’s been much talk of a rematch between the two. John Kavanagh believes that’s a definite possibility, but he hopes to gauge his star pupil’s motivation before they commit to such a high-profile showdown.

“A rematch? I guess it really depends on Conor. We’ve had a few text exchanges since the fight, but I haven’t had a face-to-face with him and, when we do, that will be my conversation with him,” Kavanagh said. “I’ll ask him what his motivation is. Let’s hear how much he wants to do. Is it one more fight, is it five more?

“There’s that old saying that it’s hard to get up and go running when you’re sleeping in silk pyjamas. MMA is a tough, tough sport. The training is gruelling and he has his second kid on the way, so does he still have that [drive]? I think so.”

What do you think of these comments from coach John Kavanagh? Do you think we’ll see a rematch between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov in the future?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/29/2018.