Kavanagh sees ‘resurgence’ in McGregor’s passion, expects summer return
Conor McGregor’s long-time head coach John Kavanagh speaks up amidst the former UFC champion’s retirement.
Conor McGregor’s fighting career is currently on hold, with no real indication about a possible return. Even long-time head coach John Kavanagh isn’t privy to his superstar fighter’s current affairs.
But if there’s one thing that the SBG Ireland mentor is certain about, it’s that “The Notorious” has not stopped training. In a recent interview on RTÉ One’s The Late Late Show, Kavanagh is expecting to touch base with McGregor soon to discuss future plans.
“He’s just back from the States; he was in Miami for the last few months training,” Kavanagh said (via MMA Fighting). “I had a small amateur show on Friday night and he showed up. I didn’t even know he was going to be there, he showed up and that was the first time I’d seen him in a while.
“There had been a couple of texts exchanged back and forth and I’m hoping to sit down next week and see what the plan is.
“[It had been] months [since I saw him],” he added. “He had been in Miami taking a break, but also training. Physically, I hadn’t seen him in quite a while.”
Kavanagh did admit that McGregor may have lost his drive after accomplishing what he had in his career. Nowadays, however, he says that the former UFC champion seems to have gotten back the desire to compete.
“Training MMA for fitness or recreation is fun, but training for professional fighting is very tough, it’s very tough on the body,” Kavanagh said. “You’re losing all the desire to do those things because it’s either about winning titles or making money, he done those, so what was going to keep motivating him, to keep putting him through that grind?
“I think there has been a resurgence in his passion and his love and I think if the right contest comes along, something that’s very interesting to him, a good challenge, something that will get the crowd going,” he added. “I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t fight again…as soon as…it could be even the summer.”
Right after their unsuccessful title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October, Kavanagh stated that it would need some convincing for him to be back in McGregor’s camp. Nowadays, however, he is willing to move past that and focus on just the positives.
“I hope we go back to doing the positive things; the goal setting, the work ethic, going for something that seems impossible,” Kavanagh said. “Those are the qualities I love in Conor, that I love talking about when I’m in the kids’ classes.”
“I’m conscious of the fact that I need to set a good example for them and I know Conor does as well. That’s what I want to get back to…the many, many positive qualities that he has.”
McGregor is currently dealing with other battles outside of the UFC Octagon. Last week, the civil suit that was filed against him for an alleged phone smashing incident in Miami had been dropped. A couple of days later, new surveillance footage of what happened surfaced online, clearly showing McGregor slapping off the complainant’s phone, stomping on it, and taking it away from him.