Kavanagh Pushing Conor Back To UFC

According to UFC champion Conor McGregor’s head coach, John Kavanagh, the superstar fighter is back at the gym and looking to get into fighting shape for 2018.

“I’m just happy to see him back, just regular training,” said Kavanagh in an interview with BBC Sport.

“He had a lot going on in his life. A lot of stuff outside of fighting was going on in his life and he seems to be getting the hang of all that. Now he’s back training almost every day now and I think 2018 will be another big year for us. Exactly what that is, I don’t know yet, but the plan is forming. Stay tuned.”

While McGregor did not step into the octagon to fight in 2017, he did have a major year, first his longtime girlfriend, Dee Devlin gave birth to their son, and McGregor was able to fight now twice-retired boxer Floyd Mayweather in August, leaving no time for him to make his way back to the UFC for a title defense.

Meanwhile, the UFC created an interim belt, won by Tony Ferguson October. Ever since  his victory in Detroit, Ferguson has been calling for McGregor to defend his title in a unification bout or vacate it, a cry becoming more and more popular with fans as well. Kavanagh though says that the campaigning to strip McGregor of the belt is unfounded.

“Conor’s still the champion,” said Kavanagh.

“He can says what he wants but I have his belt at home. He’s still the champion. He’s making the decision on what makes sense for the next move but it’s kind of early days yet. We’re just watching how that has developed while he’s been away. Let’s see what happens in 2018. I’m excited about it.”

When it comes to the champ’s next move, Kavanagh says that as decisions about what McGregor should do next, he intends to “very hard” for McGregor to get back to MMA and leave the boxing behind.

“You want to know my opinion?” said Kavanagh.

“I’ll be pushing very hard for MMA. The boxing was a nice detour from what we’ve done but mixed martial arts is my passion so if I have anything to do with it, he’ll be in the octagon this year.”

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