Conor McGregor’s long-time coach John Kavanagh set the cat amongst the pigeon’s when he wrote on Twitter that, “Maybe there is a third option,” when Justin Gaethje was touted as a replacement for Khabib Nurmagomedov against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249.
That led to speculation that McGregor was going to step in for Khabib on short notice, but Kavanagh has now confessed that it was just a joke.
“We had a bit of fun on April Fools’ (Day) with that, but no. No chance of that,” Kavanagh told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. “Ireland is on a pretty strict lockdown. Me and Conor have no physical interactions. There’s no physical interaction at the gyms. Gyms are shut down. … To try and rush that together, I just don’t think it would be smart, because he certainly isn’t fighting so that he has food for the next six months. That’s not where he is in his life.”
That makes more sense as McGregor has actually been very passionately calling for Irish people to abide by the current government rules regarding staying in their homes during the coronavirus pandemic and even called for a full military-led lockdown at one stage.
It would also seem unwise to take a fight of that magnitude on such short notice and during these uncertain times when not even the fighters know yet if, and where, the event will actually take place.
There’s always someone who will be up for the challenge though, and Gaethje vs. Ferguson would certainly be an exciting fight to front the event if it does happen.