Conor McGregor's Coach Says He'd Need to Be Convinced to Train Him Again

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2018

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06:  Conor McGregor of Ireland is involved in a post-fight incident following his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Conor McGregor's longtime trainer John Kavanagh would only return to the star's camp under the right circumstances to help him prepare for a forthcoming fight.

Kavanagh explained in an interview with the Independent's Paul Kimmage how he wouldn't train McGregor for what felt like a compulsory fight:

"Well, he would certainly have to convince me to go again. ... Yeah, I love him. I love the whole journey we've had, but I'd need a good 'why.' It might be Diaz again because he promised that fight. It might be a rematch with Khabib. But if it was just: 'Well, they want me to fight that guy' I think I'd say, 'I wish you the best.'"

Earlier in the interview, Kavanagh said he was unsure whether McGregor will fight again. Kavanagh cited McGregor's two children and the money he has made from endorsement deals as factors that may have lowered his desire to step back inside the Octagon.

However, Kavanagh added, "But he'll probably call me tomorrow and say: 'What did you say that for? I'm fighting in March.' So I don't know."

After the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 28, UFC President Dana White told reporters he thought a matchup with Dustin Poirier would make sense for McGregor for his next fight. White added the UFC can't make any firm plans until McGregor resolves his outstanding case with the Nevada Athletic Commission for his role in the brawl at UFC 229.

The former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion suffered a fourth-round submission defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov in his last fight at UFC 229 in October. Kavanagh said during that loss that Nurmagomedov "hit [McGregor] with a punch in that fight that he has never been hit with in his career."

On one hand, it would seem foolish to posit McGregor should step away from UFC. He's the No. 8 pound-for-pound fighter and No. 2 lightweight challenger in UFC's official rankings, and he only turned 30 in July. Although McGregor may no longer be in the prime of his career, he's far from an age where his skills start seriously declining.

Having said that, the end can come quickly for MMA fighters.

Ronda Rousey reeled off 12 straight wins—only one of which went beyond the first round—before losing to Holly Holm at UFC 193 in November 2015. She had one more fight before shifting gears and entering the world of professional wrestling.

Chris Weidman knocked out the previously untouchable Anderson Silva at UFC 162 in July 2013, and Silva has since dropped three of his next five fights. Granted, one of those defeats came when he broke his leg in the rematch against Weidman in December 2013.

As Kavanagh noted, McGregor has earned more than enough money to walk away now without subjecting himself to further punishment. 

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