John Kavanagh Would Be Confident If McGregor Rematches With Khabib
Since losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 last October, Conor McGregor has made it clear he wants a rematch. And as the months have gone on, the Irish man has been gunning for the rematch more and more.
Whereas immediately after the first fight, McGregor said he was prepared to fight anyone it takes to get the rematch, lately he’s been campaigning for an immediate rematch with the unbeaten Dagestani.
Most fans however, are adamant that McGregor needs at least one big win before he gets another shot at Khabib. Speaking on The Ariel Helwani Show (as transcribed by The Mac Life), McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh said that most fighters would need at least one more fight before being ready for a rematch but this isn’t the case with the former UFC two division champion.
“I think for 99.9% of people it would be [beneficial to fight someone else first] But there is absolute confidence — I have in him, and he has in himself — so I don’t think it’s as important. It’s a very unique person. A very unique character. Almost anybody else I’d say yeah, for Conor no. I was only recently watching the fight. I would be very confident in the rematch.”
As both he and McGregor have stated before, Kavanagh again said that the game plan going into the fight with Khabib was too defensive.
“I’d been watching Khabib for a long, long time. It was kind of an obvious clash that was coming. I was trying to come up with ways of defending everything instead of trusting Conor’s instincts and his ability to attack more. That would definitely be a change.
“It’s funny, when I watch the fight back, I see a lot different. Some people describe it.. watch round three. There’s a lot there that with small changes we could have big differences. Make mistakes, but don’t repeat them. I believe the rematch would be very different.”
If McGregor isn’t prepared to fight anyone other than Khabib, he may be waiting a while. Khabib and Dustin Poirier meet at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi, where they will unify the 155lbs belt. After this, there’s no question that Tony Ferguson deserves the next shot.
Right now, fights with Justin Gaethje or Ferguson, if he doesn’t want to wait until the end of the year to challenge Khabib, make sense for McGregor. Both would be huge and a win against either would certainly get him a step closer to a rematch with Khabib.
What will make the situation in the UFC lightweight division even more interesting, is if Poirier were to beat Khabib. That would open up a Khabib vs Conor rematch and Poirier vs Ferguson for the title.
Who would you like to see Conor McGregor fight when he returns?