SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh made headlines recently for his claim that his superstar pupil, Conor McGregor, “would have to convince” him to coach him for another fight, a statement that has earned him at least one notable supporter.
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship two-division title challenger, current Bellator MMA fighter, podcaster and analyst Chael Sonnen came out very much in favor of Coach Kavanagh’s statements, in which he questioned McGregor's commitment to the sport and claimed he would need to be convinced of it before embarking on another camp, in the interest of McGregor's own well-being. Sonnen said in a recent video that he wished other coaches had the same kind of mindset when it came to their fighters.
“I respect that, not for nothing but I really do respect that and that’ll tie into some other fights that we’ve seen,” Sonnen said. “I don’t want to call coaches out, I don’t want do that, but I have seen fighters in general that are in fights that can no longer be won. When I see an athlete that can no longer win, I am stopping the fight. It is okay for an athlete to make statements even if he believes them to be true to his core of ‘I am willing to die in the ring.’ If an athlete needs to get himself in that frame of mind to go out and go into combat, I am okay with it. I am not okay with the corner making that statement. The corner, in no part of the bravado and the machoness that surrounds this business, can share that mindset. When I see a corner allow his fighter to go on in a fight that he can no longer win, I think it warrants explanation.”