John Kavanagh says summer 2019 is the realistic return date for a return to the octagon.
CONOR MCGREGOR’S COACH John Kavanagh expects his fighter’s next outing to be a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov, though he would love to see a third installment to his rivalry with Nate Diaz.
McGregor’s return to the UFC ended in defeat and chaos after he submitted to Nurmagomedov (27-0).
Last month, the Dubliner signed a new six-fight contract with the UFC, committing him to MMA for the foreseeable future. Kavanagh expects that fight two of the six will again pit him up against Nurmagomedov
“I won’t pretend to understand the business side of things,” Kavanagh said in a lengthy interview on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
“The officials decide who gets the next shot. I only deal with what’s put in front of me.
“I think it will be a Khabib rematch. Now, I’ll get torn apart on Twitter, ‘he doesn’t deserve this.’ I’m only saying what I think. Is it going to be someone else, is Tony (Ferguson getting a title shot)?
“That’s what I see him talking about, so that’s how my mind is.”
Kavanagh speculated on a possible 16 March return to the octagon for McGregor, with St Patrick’s Day the main factor in his thinking. However. he added that next summer is a more realistic timeline for a return.
If not a Nurmagomedov rematch, then Kavanagh would “love” to see a trilogy fight against Diaz materialise.
“It’s so appealing stylistically,” says Kavanagh, “him and Diaz is such a great personality match-up, it’s a great skill clash.
“It’s a beautiful fight. I would love to see that rematch.”
On the subject of Nurmagomedov’s post-win leap towards McGregor’s cornermen at UFC 229, Kavanagh downplayed the Dagestan fighter’s actions, but not the response from his camp.
“I hope they’re lenient on him. Not just so we can get the rematch, I love watching him fight for a start. I can stretch myself to understand his reaction.
“I can’t stretch myself to understand the other guys’ reactions and what they did.”
“In the cage when your man went in and hit (McGregor) from behind. I can’t understand that.”
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