Coach John Kavanagh Rules Out Conor McGregor Fighting At UFC 249
Ahead of his comeback at UFC 246, Conor McGregor predicted that Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson wouldn’t happen at UFC 249 and that he would step in and save the card. Several months on and two weeks ahead of UFC 249, it looks like the Irishman was 50 percent right. After Khabib all but ruled himself out of the April 18th card as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many fans speculated that ‘The Notorious’ would step in as a late replacement. His coach John Kavanagh however, has ruled out any chance of this.
It comes a day after McGregor himself, took to social media and implied the same thing. In recent weeks, Conor has been campaigning for all airports in Ireland to close during the global lockdown as a result of the coronavirus. If he were to fly out of the country now, not that UFC 249 even has a location, it would be hypocritical to say the least.
Speaking to ESPN‘s Ariel Helwani, Coach Kavanagh completely ruled out any chance of McGregor fighting at UFC 249.
“We had a bit of fun on April Fools [Day] with that but no, no chance of that. Ireland is on a pretty strict lockdown. Me and Conor have no physical interactions. There’s no physical interaction at the gyms. Gyms are shut down.
“To try and rush that together, I just don’t think it would be smart, because he certainly isn’t fighting so that he has food for the next six months. That’s not where he is in his life.”
While we know that McGregor won’t be fighting at UFC 249, speculation remains as to who and when he will fight next. According to Kavanagh, Justin Gaethje’s name is in the mix.
“[Gaethje] was certainly one of the ones that was being talked about. That was right up there.”
With Khabib all but out of UFC 249, it has been speculated that Ferguson has been offered Gaethje. Asked whether he thinks Tony should fight Justin or wait for the Khabib fight to be rescheduled, Kavanagh said it would depend on if ‘El Cucuy’ needs to fight financially.
“I think the answer to that would come down to finances a little bit. I would like to think that Tony doesn’t have to fight to feed himself for the next six months. You always want to think that about such a long time professional like this but I don’t know, I don’t know his financial situation. But I would say that if I was his friend or whatever involved with him, that would be the only reason I would encourage him to do it. If he was saying, ‘Hey bro I need to pay rent, I need to eat, maybe this fight is not ’til the end o the year,’ then I would say, ‘Yeah, of course, it’s your job at the end of the day. There’s front line workers doing a lot more dangerous stuff than MMA fighters are doing. So hey, it’s your job, go ahead and do your job.
“But I don’t see why [the UFC] doesn’t say, ‘Let’s take April, May, and June, that’s a three month period, and we’re just going to say say that didn’t happen.’ So whatever was going to go on in April, goes on in July. April 18th becomes July 18th. In a weird way, you press pause on the world for three months.”
Who do you think Conor McGregor should fight next? What do you think Tony Ferguson should do? And do you think it’s time for the UFC to postpone UFC 249?