On Friday night, John Kavanagh took to the most well-known talk show in Ireland, The Late Late Show, for the third time. While on the show, the head coach of SBG Ireland spoke on the future of Conor McGregor, how he plans to move forward with the former champ-champ, and the influence that the UFC superstar has had on the relevance of mixed martial arts in their home country.
John Kavanagh revealed that last Friday night was the first time in months that he had met with McGregor face to face, and that ideally, they pair would be able to sit down next week to discuss what would be best for Conor McGregor in the near future.
“He’s just back from the States; he was in Miami for the last few months training”
“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.”
Coach Kavanagh also spoke on the lightweight contender’s so-called “retirement” that was announced on Twitter. Also going into detail about times he has pondered whether or not McGregor still has the same hunger and drive to compete after achieving everything that they set out to achieve in the sport. When asked about the retirement tweet, Kavanagh said:
“You know as much as I do. It’s funny, when he won the second world title, as a coach it’s almost like a nightmare because he achieved everything he set out to do; he won the world titles, he broke every meaningful record in the UFC, he made enough money to retire a few times over,”
However, despite questioning Conor McGregor’s motivation, Kavanagh revealed that he has noticed that Conor’s passion for MMA competition is beginning to make a comeback.
“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…I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t fight again…as soon as…it could be even the summer,”
Since the Irishman’s loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October, there have been rumours that he had drifted from the SBG Ireland gym and Coach Kavanagh in particular. These rumours mostly stemming from an Instagram post made by the former champion shortly after the fight.
When asked if he would accompany McGregor to his next UFC fight as a cornerman, he confidently said “Very much so, I certainly hope so.”
Kavanagh went on to talk about his concern about the negative impact McGregor’s recent arrests have had on the way that MMA is seen back in Ireland and that he hopes the pair can get back to focusing on moving forward in more positive ways.
“I hope we go back to doing the positive things; the goal setting, the work ethic, going for something that seems impossible. 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.”