Conor McGregor’s long-time coach John Kavanagh has revealed that it’s unlikely the Irish superstar will fight again in 2017.
As they look to unwind from a whirlwind few months, McGregor is currently in Ibiza celebrating a friend’s wedding, while Kavanagh is vacationing in Florida with his fiancee, and with time marching on, it’s looking more and more like an end of year return to the UFC for ‘The Notorious’ won’t happen.
“It’s probably a little late in the day to realistically expect another fight before the end of the year, because even after this hiatus is over, a lot goes into the planning and execution of a training camp at our level,” Kavanagh stated in his column for 42.ie. “I find it hard to envisage another fight in 2017.”
However, he’s still not completely ruling it out.
“Knowing Conor, I could get a text message tonight telling me otherwise. He’s difficult to predict, which is one of the many reasons why he’s so fascinating.”
Still, even while he’s on holiday himself, Kavanagh has been contemplating who McGregor might face next, and he has no doubt who he’d like to see him in the Octagon against when he returns to action.
“I’ve said for a long time that the Nate Diaz trilogy fight at lightweight is what I’d personally like to see next. That still needs to be put to bed.”
Kavanagh also suggested that one of McGregor’s other major challengers, Tony Ferguson, “doesn’t have the kind of appeal that would get your blood racing,” as things stand, while he admits to not even knowing who his upcoming interim lightweight title opponent Kevin Lee was until recently.
Kavanagh also gave his opinion on McGregor’s fight with Floyd Mayweather, stating that things have been going as well as could be expected in the first four rounds.
“I was really pleased with how Conor fought on the outside, in terms of the boxing at range. I’d say I was even somewhat pleasantly surprised by how much success he had in that regard. That surprised a lot of other people too.”
However, Kavanagh also acknowleged that it caught them off-guard when Mayweather then switched gameplans and uncharacteristically started walking McGregor down with his guard held high, though he went on to admit that cardio also became a key factor.
“We had also been inefficient with our energy by throwing a lot of shots in the first minute of each round, most of which Floyd caught on his gloves and forearms,” Kavanagh said, then later added, “He sort of punched himself out a little bit and got caught with some shots towards the end.”
So, there’s lessons to be learned from McGregor’s biggest fight to date, but for the time being, Kavanagh says the plan is that, “we’re just going to switch off, let our minds settle and we’ll make a decision on the next step when the time is right.”