Coach Kavanagh thinking twice before working with McGregor again
Kavanagh admits he would need to be convinced to return to McGregor’s corner for particular fights going forward. He does not want to see McGregor risk himself unnecessarily in second-rate fights, now that he is entering the final stages of his professional MMA career.
He would certainly have to convince me to go again. I love him, I love the whole journey we’ve had but I’d need a good ‘why’. It might be [Nate] Diaz again because he promised that fight. It might be a rematch with Khabib. But if it was just: ‘Well, they want me to fight that guy’ I think I’d say, ‘I wish you the best. He has a wife and two kids now and I don’t want him taking more hits than he needs to. Khabib hit him with a punch in that fight that he has never been hit with in his career. And even Superman slows down at some stage.
Kavanagh hoping for year-end McGregor fight
Kavanagh says McGregor could fight two or three times in 2019.
If he so wished, if he was driven to do it and said, ‘I’ve got the other side of things on lockdown, I’m confident with that’…Let’s do another three-year stretch of fighting three times a year,’ he could easily do that from a physical point of view, as long as he found the motivation. You best believe I’d be behind it. I’d love it. It’s so much fun. The experience of training him and coming out [to Las Vegas] for a couple weeks. The lead-up and buildup, the fight. There’s just a different feel to a Conor McGregor fight.
Kavanagh: I’d almost bet anything Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor happens before the end of the year
McGregor team’s head coach, Kavanagh, lends further weight to fellow coach Roddy’s statement last week, that the negotiations for the title fight between Nurmagomedov and McGregor are “brewing up nicely”. Kavanagh expects the matchup to take place before the end of 2018.
It’s the obvious fight, as his coach and as a fan. As a fan of MMA, it’s the fight I want to see as well. I would almost bet anything — almost bet anything — that fight happens before the end of the year. I can’t imagine it not happening.
Kavanagh: McGregor should fight Nurmagomedov or Ferguson before Diaz
Coach Kavanagh says that a trilogy fight with Diaz was appealing after UFC 202, but is losing appeal since McGregor has continued to elevate himself while Diaz has been sitting on the sidelines.
Conor’s had an MMA fight and a boxing fight since and we haven’t seen Nate since. So I started changing and you could see it amongst the fans who … are the most important factor in all of this because they pay for the Pay-Per-Views… But you can see it was clearly becoming they wanted to see either Khabib or Tony in there rather than [Nate], probably for the same reason that we didn’t: Nate didn’t keep busy. So I don’t think it would be quite right for that to happen before the winner of [Khabib]-Tony, because Conor, [Khabib], and Tony have kept busy and Nate hasn’t…I think Nate should get one in in the meantime. Him vs. Woodley. I hear there are rumors of that or him against a good lightweight, and if the MMA gods smile, it would be a victory for him. Conor fights the winner of [Khabib-Tony] and then you’ve got this amazing superfight for New Year’s Eve.
Kavanagh: McGregor will be back in the UFC this year
During a Facebook live interview to promote Wimp 2 Warrior, Kavanagh says McGregor will return to UFC in 2018.
There’s so much happening in the division and things changing around and what have you. I can’t say who [he’ll fight]. I can’t say when [he’ll be back]. As people who follow him on social media will see, he’s back, very motivated, training a lot. He’s in the gym every day. The plan seems to be forming and getting more exact every day that [he’ll be] back in the UFC this year. When and against who, I would be just guessing.
Kavanagh in hoverboard fall
Kavanagh tries out his brother’s Hoverboard in Dublin, Ireland, but gets a little too confident with his skills and falls backward off the board.
Coach Kavanagh targets St. Patrick’s Day in New York for McGregor’s next fight
Coach Kavanagh says March 17th at Madison Square Garden in New York is a possible date for McGregor’s next fight. Reports last month suggested that McGregor had booked a comeback bout with Nate Diaz that was initially scheduled for December 30th at UFC 219. According to leading MMA journalist Ariel Helwani, that fight and date is still the plan for all parties concerned, but a deal is still far from being finalised. Appearing on The Late Late Show, Kavanagh hinted at an alternative date of March 17th:
We’re already talking about 2018 and some fights in 2018. I’m looking forward to getting him back in the gym and back into the rigmarole of training. I think that’s best for him. I keep saying it out there – so hopefully it becomes a reality – but I would love Madison Square Garden, St. Patrick’s Day, New York, for a Conor fight in the UFC.
Coach Kavanagh: McGregor ‘punched himself out’
Coach Kavanagh says McGregor’s biggest mistake was pushing too hard in the early stages of the fight against Mayweather, and succumbing to fatigue before being stopped in the tenth round. McGregor admitted that his inability to effectively manage his energy reserves played a big part in his loss.
We had also been inefficient with our energy by throwing a lot of shots in the first minute of each round, most of which Floyd caught on his gloves and forearms. When we faced that style last year against Nate — walking down, hands high — we had more success because the smaller gloves in MMA can fit through the gaps…We had also practiced a lot of hand-fighting and rotating elbows over the guard for that fight, as well as the low-kick. Obviously, those techniques aren’t options in boxing. But that’s eventually what wore Conor down. He sort of punched himself out a little bit and got caught with some shots towards the end. The referees are a little quicker to stop fights in boxing too, as opposed to what we’re used to in MMA. Having agreed to fight under boxing rules, we have no argument with that. I think it was in the fourth or fifth round when Floyd switched styles and he almost took the Nate Diaz approach of just walking forward and covering up. Conor called him ‘a Mexican’, which was a reference to the style of boxing. It’s even more effective in boxing than it is in MMA because you can catch more of your opponent’s shots on the bigger gloves. That he decided to go down that route genuinely surprised me. It’s an approach I’ve seen him use extremely rarely. I guess it was a display of both experience and technical nous — he was able to switch between styles until he found the one that worked best for him
Coach Kavanagh wants McGregor back in MMA
After it was claimed that Canelo Alvarez’s representatives, Golden Boy Promotion’s, entered negations with Conor McGregor’s team shortly after his controversial middleweight title unification fight with Gennady Golovkin, John Kavanagh, McGregor’s coach, says that he doesn’t think it will happen:
Kavanagh: ‘I expect Conor to go in there and completely dominate’
In an interview with The Mac Life, Kavanagh says McGregor is ready
He has gone at a complete new level, now that he’s been able to focus on the hand techniques in MMA, what we call boxing…I feel this is a very interesting fight, in terms of both camps have such high expectations. A lot of times you go to an MMA fight and you expect to win, but there’s a possibility of losing. [Mayweather’s team] don’t expect Conor to land a punch. They don’t expect to win, they expect it to be an absolute walk in the park…and I can honestly say, I don’t expect this to be the hardest fight of all time for Conor. I expect him to go in there and completely dominate. So one of us is living in a delusion..I really find it hard to imagine anything else other than Conor really putting on a clinic, and really destroying him.
Kavanagh: Why McGregor is not using a boxing coach
Coach Kavanagh says McGregor is not using a boxing coach because they don’t see any value in it.
I don’t know if it’s a gamble or a risk. It’s a calculated risk…I don’t see the sense in bringing in a new person that doesn’t know how [we do things]…The other side to looking at it is that there has been one of the best boxing trainers in the world, and he did train a southpaw for years and years and years…and his result was negative. It didn’t work out. Freddie Roach and Pacquiao. Whatever gameplan [Freddie] had for a southpaw to beat Mayweather didn’t work…Besides a few brief moments, Mayweather was able to handle it. So why would you bring in someone to repeat the same plan, and hope for a different result? We want to do something different altogether. A completely different approach.
Kavanagh: McGregor is ‘in the best condition I’ve ever seen’
Coach Kavanagh talks about how training is going with McGregor at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas.
I’ve been with Conor a while. This is the best physical condition I’ve ever seen him in. [He has an] unparalleled work ethic.
Kavanagh: ‘Chris Martin kicks like a donkey’
Staying on in Dublin after Coldplay’s sold out Croke Park gig on Saturday night, Martin visits Straight Blast Gym on the Naas Road for a private training session with Kavanagh, before downing a pint at McDowell’s pub in Inchicore. Kavanagh Instagrams himself posing with Martin:
Good training today with my boy Chris Martin @coldplay kicks like a donkey but needs bit of work on his uppercuts.
He also shares a Facebook post with many Coldplay-related puns.
Kavanagh: McGregor not using specialised boxing coach
In an interview in The 42, Coach Kavanagh says McGregor is not using a specialised boxing coach, and that only he and Owen Roddy are involved in training. Together they will McGregor was on course to have completed the equivalent of 44 full boxing bouts by the time he climbs through the ropes at the T-Mobile Arena.
It’s just me and Owen. We’re the only trainers involved. You know, we thought about getting a boxing trainer involved, but we don’t have five years to prepare for this, we had – I don’t know – 11, 12 weeks. So if we brought someone else in, there’s the whole thing of trying to fit them into the way we do things. And at this stage, Conor’s not learning how to jab. He knows how to throw a jab. We kicked the idea around, and we decided, ‘You know what? We’ve gotten this far together, we seem to have a formula that works, let’s keep going with what we have.
Kavanagh: World Tour promoters ‘just think Ireland, UK – same thing’
In an interview with The 42, Kavanagh says McGregor was upset about not adding Dublin to the world promo tour.
[Wembley is not close to Ireland!] It’s not. I don’t know why it’s not coming to Dublin. If I say the Americans are idiots, I can see the headline! But it was very, very short-sighted. And it’s typical of American promotions, in my opinion. It’s like the UFC, when you go to Sweden and you do the walk-out time to suit people on the west coast of America. It’s ridiculous! If [Alexander] Gustafsson is fighting in Sweden, he should be walking out at 9:30pm Swedish time. And I see this as being that same short-sightedness, on behalf of some Americans… I’ll tone it down a bit!..You know, it’s a case of, ‘Where’s Ireland? Ah, that’s the UK, isn’t it? Let’s stick it in London’. And we were like, ‘No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!’ They just saw it as a bigger audience. What’s Dublin got, 1.2 million people? And London has, what, 10 million? But who cares? Wherever you put it – let’s say they put it in a 10,000 stadium – okay, well that’s 10,000 people in London, but it would have been 10,000 people in Dublin. You would have easily filled the 3Arena, and then everybody in London would tune in anyway and watch it on Youtube. Absolute short-sightedness. They just think Ireland, UK, same thing. ‘Ah, it’s Europe’. It really bugged me, and I know Conor wasn’t over the moon about it either.
Kavanagh to object if Bayless gets to referee McGregor-Mayweather
In a Q&A on boards.ie, Kavanagh fields several fan questions about the McGregor-Mayweather fight, and says he will object if Nevada State Athletic Commission appoint Bayless to referee the bout.
Yes, I’ll be objecting to that.
Bayless, who is one of the most high profile boxing referees in Nevada, has officiated several Mayweather bouts in the past and has said that he would not want to see such a fight:
I wouldn’t want to see it. It’s two different sports.
Kavanagh has previously proposed that Marc Goddard would be the ideal man for the job.
I think Marc Goddard should be the referee. We’re already agreeing to boxing rules, boxing fight, boxing ring — everything is done boxing. So, how about an MMA referee that will understand the inside fighting that will go into this fight?
Kavanagh: ‘Crazy’ not to have Taylor, Conlan on undercard
Kavanagh says he would like to see both Taylor and Conlan on the undercard of McGregor-Mayweather.
I’ve seen a lot of speculation and I think it would be crazy of the promoters not to put on the likes of Katie Taylor and Michael Conlan…That just seems like a no brainer to me. Why wouldn’t you have a big America vs Ireland? It would generate such interest.
Kavanagh confident McGregor will return to MMA
Coach Kavanagh says he is confident that McGregor will return to MMA after his fight with Floyd Mayweather.
I would say the same thing about him taking this fight. It’s not money that’s motivating him any more. He could very easily make similar money from doing some movies or some endorsements. It’s the challenge. That’s why he’s in the gym laughing every day. If he left the gym now and stopped fighting, what would he do with his free time? You can only sit in one car at a time, you can only have one meal at a time. Eventually you want to do something that’s enjoyable to you, and that would be Conor drifting back into the gym…The motivation for this fight was not money — although it’s quite nice to be well paid for what you do — it was the challenge. And to be told again that it is impossible to do what he’s clearly about to do.. Money will not be the reason he will not do MMA again. He’s said very clearly to me ‘Get ready, we’ll be back in the cage in December’.
Coach John Kavanagh is confident Conor McGregor will return to MMA after boxing match with Mayweather. #TheMMAHour https://t.co/hswRoy4crf pic.twitter.com/n8ipyjoK1s
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) June 26, 2017
Kavanagh: McGregor three weeks away from being able to beat Mayweather
On The MMA Hour, Coach Kavanagh says McGregor’s training is proceeding well.
We have two more weeks in Ireland, then the guys will head to Las Vegas. We’ll then have six week in Vegas before the fight, but I watched the session today and said we would be ready in three weeks…We’ve always done best when everybody is just mocking the idea of an unknown Dublin guy saying he’s going to take on the whole UFC roster and win the belt. Those challenges seem to bind us even closer than we already are. I’m really seeing that spirit lit up in the team. It’s always there, but for whatever reason, because we’re being laughed at, because we’re being mocked, it’s making us even stronger.
McGregor mural reaction video
The Mac Life releases a video of McGregor’s reaction to the mural of him punching Mayweather in the face. Kavanagh, who commissioned the mural, leads him into the SBG gym to see it.
That is unbelievable. F-ck Floyd Mayweather! Imma see you soon!