UFC – John Kavanagh: Conor McGregor Is Trying To Be A Better Person
Conor McGregor is on a ‘good comeback story’. At least according to his coach, John Kavanagh.
Speaking to RTÉ 2FM’s Game On, Kavanagh said he was extremely proud of McGregor and his role in the growth of the sport.
“I’m incredibly proud of Conor. I realise it was him individually who has made the sport so well known. I get stopped by 60-year-old ladies asking me how his wrestling training is coming along. I know it was him who made it a huge sport in Ireland so I’m very, very proud of that.”
While Kavanagh gives McGregor’s credit for the meteoric rise of MMA in Ireland, he also acknowledges that Conor has made mistakes. Although he believes that the former two division UFC champion has learned from those mistake and is trying to become a better person.
“It comes with the territory. Negative headlines get more clicks than positive headlines. That’s just the media game. He’s spoken himself about his slips and his mistakes. He’s had to pay for those outside of the sport. I feel we’re on a good comeback story – he had a great win in January – but yeah, like most things in life you take the good with the bad, you roll with it and try to improve, learn from mistakes and get better as a human being and an athlete as you go on.
“It’s a very weird rise from being an unknown guy in Dublin, doing a sport no one has heard of, to being a global superstar. Everything you say and do is analysed. He had to make his mistakes very publicly and visibly. I’m proud of how he’s come through those things. He’s owned up to his mistakes. He’s trying to make himself a better person and I’m behind that.”
Although McGregor has made as many negative headlines as he has positive ones in the last couple of years, Kavanagh is hoping that these haven’t damaged MMA’s reputation.
“I’d like to think [his mistakes haven’t damaged the sport]. I think people who are interested in the sport realise it’s not one person.”
Since McGregor burst on to the MMA scene, it is not only his bank account that has grown. According to Kavanagh, the number of MMA gyms in Ireland has significantly increased.
“When Conor started to make waves we probably had about 15 MMA clubs in the country. As of now, we’re coming up to a hundred clubs. In general you’re talking about 50 to 150 members in a hundred clubs, so there is a lot of interest.”
Having not fought in over a year, McGregor made a successful comeback in January at UFC 246, where he stopped ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone after only 40 seconds of the very first round.
Do you believe John Kavanagh? Do you think Conor McGregor is trying to be a better person?