If Conor McGregor fights in the UFC again, he might need to convince John Kavanagh to serve as his head coach again.
That’s the word from the leader of the Straight Blast Gym in Ireland, who can’t be certain whether or not McGregor should even entertain another fight after falling to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October.
To be clear, Kavanagh isn’t saying that McGregor should walk away because he’s no longer competitive — that’s the furthest thing from the truth — but rather because he’s made so much money he could retire tomorrow and be financially secure for the rest of his life while no longer taking punches to the face for a living.
Kavanagh addressed the subject when speaking to the Irish Independent when asked about a potential rematch between McGregor and Nurmagomedov.
“Honestly? I don’t know. Will he fight again? I don’t know,” Kavanagh said. “I know him as a person and know that coming off two losses — even though one was boxing — will be hard for him. But he’s 30, two kids, and has a big whiskey deal that’s making him more money than fighting ever did. Would you get up in the morning to be punched in the face? I don’t think so. 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.
“He would certainly have to convince me to go again.”
Kavanagh says for him to stand in McGregor’s corner again would require the right reasons for taking a fight in the first place.
Obviously, a rematch with Nurmagomedov would be a chance at redemption and a trilogy against Nate Diaz would finish a rivalry that stretches back to two epic fights in 2016.
If it’s just any opponent that the UFC throws at him, Kavanagh just isn’t sure he could coach McGregor in good conscience considering his feeling on being done with the sport before the sport is done with you.
“I love him. I love the whole journey we’ve had, but I’d need a good ‘why’,” Kavanagh explained. “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.’
“It would [be a big call] but again, I’ll come back to my reasoning. He has a wife and two kids now and I don’t want him taking more hits than he needs to. Khabib hit him with a punch in that fight that he has never been hit with in his career. And even Superman slows down at some stage.”