While all the attention is currently on Conor McGregor’s welterweight rematch with Nate Diaz at the moment, which was recently officially announced for UFC 202 in August, the question remains as to when the Irish superstar will make the first defense of his featherweight title.
McGregor won the belt by knocking out Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds at UFC 194 in December, but while he’s vowed that he will defend his title, since then ‘The Notorious’ has set his sights on other challenges – first attempting to move up to take on lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos until an injury to his opponent nixed the match-up, then moving on to this double-header with Diaz at 170lbs.
The weight cut down to 145lbs is known to be particularly brutal for McGregor, leading to speculation that he’ll never go back down again, and his long-time coach John Kavanagh is among those in his camp who would prefer him not to.
However, speaking to the mmaUnderground’s Jonathan Shragar, Kavanagh admitted he doesn’t know for certain whether featherweight remains in McGregor’s future or not.
“The short answer is I don’t know,” Kavanagh admitted in an interview with Shragar, before turning his attention to UFC 200’s interim featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar.
“I’m very intrigued to see the Aldo and Edgar fight. “I hope Aldo is fully recovered from the bad knockout. I thought (Chad) Mendes went back in there really quick after the knockout against Conor. People don’t realize the damage it does — it takes a long time to recover, and I think Mendes went down quicker in that fight because of that. Maybe if he’d let himself rest a bit more he might have had more fight for Edgar. I hope that’s not the case for Aldo, (I hope) we get to see a solid version of Aldo and a new kind of improved Edgar, and see what different from the first fight.
So yeah, let’s see that, and assess after the rematch. It’s kind of those two names and (Max) Holloway kind of in the mix, so it’s an interesting time.”