John Kavanagh has been calling the shots for Conor McGregor in almost his entire mixed martial arts career but the 41-year old coach is now doubtful if he will be working alongside ‘The Notorious’ in his next outing, following an emphatic loss against UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 226.
The veteran MMA coach said in a recent interview with Sunday Independent that the former two-division champion has to convince him to return to his side as he believed that Nurmagomedov has slowed McGregor down after their historic fight in Las Vegas last October.
‘Even Superman Slows Down’
McGregor failed on his mission to recapture the UFC lightweight championship on his highly-awaited return to the cage last October after more than two years of hiatus. The Irish star was submitted by Nurmagomedov in the fourth round, which gave him his fourth loss in his MMA career and his second consecutive defeat since bowing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their money fight in 2017.
But before the nasty submission came, ‘The Eagle’ has done something other fighters failed to do when they faced the Irishman and that is knocking down McGregor for the first time in his career. Khabib landed a solid punch to his jaw, which sent him wobbling down to the floor.
For Kavanagh, he doesn’t want his star to take the same kind of hits again as it has slowed him down and he has now a family to take care of.
“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.”
— Alex Batt (@AlexBatt) October 7, 2018
This is why the former martial artist is reluctant in going to another battle with McGregor unless he convinces him that he can still go up against superstars.
“Well, he would certainly have to convince me to go again. 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.’”
As of now, the UFC has yet to book an official fight for ‘The Notorious’ but rumours have it that he is set to face Donald Cerrone next year. Meanwhile, McGregor might be slapped with a hefty fine and lengthy suspension when Nevada Athletic State Commission officials meet next year for a hearing on the ugly post-fight brawl that broke out at UFC 226.
“He’s 30, two kids, and has a big whiskey deal that’s making him more money than fighting ever did. Would you get up in the morning to be punched in the face? I don’t think so. But he’ll probably call me tomorrow and say: What did you say that for? I’m fighting in March,” Kavanagh added.
“So I don’t know.”
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/Conor McGregor and YouTube/The Mac Life)