Conor McGregor had been hoping to compete at UFC 300 in April, but his coach John Kavanagh has now appeared to confirm that his long awaited comeback won’t happen until the summer.
“We were hoping for April,” Kavanagh told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour show. “That was the hope. That was what we were told. And now it seems to be the summertime.
“I don’t know [why]. That’s literally what we were having a bit of a back and forward [about] today.”
Kavanagh admits that the news was met with frustration, but he’s now trying to look on the bright side and has speculated that perhaps he’s being held back for International Fight Week in July.
“Well, I was [worried about McGregor’s mental health] too, I’m not going to lie. But hearing him today, he’s out there finding this great group of training partners — at least he’s doing that,” Kavanagh said. “Hey, it’s not quite the same as getting in to compete in front of a large crowd, but at least he’s getting training in, and that’s so important. We heard Volk talk about that, ‘Keep me busy,’ and all that. So I love to hear that he’s training hard with these guys.
“But look, and this is what I was saying to him as well — yeah, OK, it’s a knock back if we’re hearing it was April but now it’s July, but it’s not the end of the world. It is an extra couple of months. It’s not great. But hey, you’re enjoying your training at the moment. Let’s just keep that going. But the sport, you are around for such a short time as compared to — well, I’m not going to try to make a comparison to other sports or whatever, but like our careers, we can do this for decades. For fighters, is a short time.”
Kavanagh then went into some more detail about McGregor’s current training set-up, revealing that a new sparring partner in PLF featherweight tournament winner Brendan Loughane appears to have motivated the former champ.
“He’s outside of Ireland at the minute, but he’s with Brendan Loughnane. I’d had Brendan over at my gym, and I realized him and Conor were going to be in the same area, so I got them connected, and I was delighted to see that they were getting along well. I knew they would get on really well really fast.
You know, kind of like a Stepbrothers or something, like doing Kung Fu in the Basin. So, I just knew once that connection was made, it was going to be great, and I’m getting some great feedback from Conor. He just sounds really motivated at the moment, really enjoying it again because he has that new toy, a new training partner. And Brendan’s a very, very smart training partner.”