John Kavanagh On Conor’s UFC 246 Preparations And Fighting Gaethje
It’s a new year and a new decade and kicking off the first UFC card of 2020 will be Conor McGregor vs ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, who headline UFC 246. Come January 18th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, it will be fifteen months since McGregor last stepped inside the Octagon. After such a lay off, many fans are questioning how the Irishman will look. One man who has a better idea than most, is Conor’s long time coach, John Kavanagh.
Speaking to The Mac Life, Kavanagh opened up on McGregor’s preparations for UFC 246, who he said knows more about the fight game than the rest of the team combined.
“With Conor’s fight IQ, Conor’s understanding of the game, really this training camp is about all of us getting out of his way. Provide him with an environment where he can have different looks, different feels and support him where he wants the training camp to go, in intensities and listening to him, where he has days where he wants to push hard and days where he wants to slow down. It’s not so much about us coaches sitting there on a game plan and filling Conor in. Conor knows more about fighting than the rest of us put together.”
As well as his complimenting his understanding of the sport, Kavanagh also stated that McGregor is looking the best he’s ever seen him, and explained the reason why.
“I think this is the best he’s ever been. And the reason why I’m saying that is because of the consistency over the last few months. There’s a real return to smiling on the mat, enjoying it, having fun and it’s a cliche to say but a happy fighter is a dangerous fighter.
“He just seems really happy with his life and with his training and with the environment we have here, and competing again, and having those exchanges, and so on. So I think this is the best he’s ever been.”
While Conor vs ‘Cowboy’ is a real fan favourite, many fans believed that Justin Gaethje should have been the man to welcome McGregor back to the Octagon. When asked about the potential matchup down the road, Kavanagh said he believed that a fight between the two would be ‘fantastic’.
“Just to look at Gaethje as an opponent, very good competitor, hard hitter, comes forward, lot of pressure, exciting fighter. Him matched up against Conor at some stage would be fantastic. I think that would be a great fight. I think the fans would love it.
“I think stylistically it suits Conor. Conor uses a huge amount of pressure but I think he’s actually better countering. But he doesn’t counter like most counter fighters by just staying out of range and moving backwards. Enormous amount of pressure, get’s a reaction, puts you to sleep. I think that’s what would happen in a Justin fight, considering how he fights. That being said, solid competitor and it’d be a great fight.”
Going back to the ‘Cowboy’ fight, Kavanagh revealed how he believes the fight will go down.
“I think it’s going to be late [finish]. I could see it being in the championship rounds. That’s the mindset I personally have and be ready for that. Now, he could spark him in seconds. But there’s a bit of extra weight involved, so I think in the later rounds.”
How do you think the Conor McGregor vs ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone fight goes down?