Conor McGregor has options for who he fights next, but according to his coach, John Kavanagh, he wants it to be against Justin Gaethje.
In the main event of UFC 246, McGregor made his highly-anticipated return to the Octagon against Donald Cerrone at welterweight. There, the Irishman made quick work of “Cowboy” as he knocked him out in 40 seconds.
Following the fight, many thought Conor McGregor’s next fight would either be against Jorge Masvidal or Khabib Nurmagomedov. Yet, Kavanagh wants it to be against Gaethje but at welterweight.
“Justin Gaethje at 170. That would be my personal preference… because he’s another lightweight,” John Kavanagh said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “Neither of them have to cut weight and the goal. I’ll be careful with my words here, the kind of vision is to get that 155-pound belt back so it’s a step towards that.”
Why Kavanagh wants the fight against Gaethje to be at welterweight is simple. He doesn’t think there is a reason for Conor McGregor to cut weight unless he is fighting for the lightweight title.
“I don’t see the reason for him to cut weight unless there’s a significant, there has to be a belt on the line,” Kavanagh said. “Otherwise, why would he do it? So, yeah, stay at this weight, don’t cut weight and then when the big one comes along, then shed the last 15 pounds.”
Kavanagh says it would be surprising if Conor McGregor does not fight before the summer as the goal is to stay active. Whether or not they would get the Gaethje fight is to be seen, but it is a fight that makes sense.
With Khabib Nurmagomedov defending his belt against Tony Ferguson in April, Gaethje is without an opponent. So, the winner of McGregor-Gaethje could then go on to fight the winner of Nurmagomedov-Ferguson.
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/21/2020.