Despite his one-sided loss at UFC 229 against Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor immediately called for a rematch, leaving some fans perplexed.
McGregor’s head coach, John Kavanagh of Straight Blast Gym, has some ideas about what might motivate his pupil to seek another fight against a foe who gave him such a drubbing. Kavanagh sat down with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani and discussed the possibility of Khabib vs. McGregor 2 and what he’d do differently to the first fight.
“Conor watched [the Khabib fight] right away, I hadn’t seen the fight since,” Kavanagh said. “I got essays immediately to my phone, ‘We’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do that.’ I was like great, if we’re gonna do it, let’s do it. I would change a few things around even from a training standpoint.”
“We’d have to go... it’s kind of funny, to use a ridiculous analogy, it’s a bit like Rocky 3,” Kavanagh added. “We’ve got this up-and-coming guy and I wanna go back to get the eye of the tiger, go back and train in an old school gym. Just disappear. Get me, Conor, Artem [Lobov], Peter [Queally], and that kind of crew, and just disappear for three months. Really put in a nightmarish training camp, an old school training camp. If we’re going to do it again, that would be my requirement to go do this again.”
Leading into UFC 229, McGregor told reporter that he returned to the Octagon because of the love of the sport, which excited Kavanagh and gave him a glimpse into his fighter’s motivation for the next training camp if the fight were to come to pass.
“And I see Conor, from the limited amount of chat we had about it, he wants to do it again,” Kavanagh said. “And he’s excited to do it because what’s he fighting for at this stage? He’s won some titles. He’s won plenty of money.”
“So with 30 [years old] and his second kid on the way, 31 next year, what would be driving him to do this again?” Kavanagh added. “It has to be that he wants to prove he’s the best. It has to be to prove to himself and to fight a great fighter like Khabib. So if we’re going to do that, let’s do it and commit to it.”