Kavanagh Hoping for Positive Change in McGregor

SBG Ireland coach John Kavanagh recently appeared on The Late Late Show in Ireland to discuss his relationship with his most famous student — former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor.

Kavanagh claims that it had been months since he last met with McGregor in person before the two met up for a meeting last weekend.

“He’s just back from the States; he was in Miami for the last few months training,” Kavanagh said. “I had a small amateur show on Friday night and he showed up. I didn’t even know he was going to be there, he showed up and that was the first time I’d seen him in a while. There had been a couple of texts exchanged back and forth and I’m hoping to sit down next week and see what the plan is.”

“[It had been] months [since I saw him]. He had been in Miami taking a break but also training. Physically, I hadn’t seen him in quite a while.”

The head coach noted that athletes, including MMA fighters, may lose a passion once they’ve achieved everything they set out to do. It’s no secret between the history and money McGregor has made in the UFC, his fight with Floyd Mayweather and other venture such as Proper No. Twelve, McGregor could easily retire from the sport if he wanted.

In fact, McGregor sent out a tweet last month announcing his retirement, but he has been teasing another short-lived retirement (echoing the one-day one he had in 2016). And while Kavanagh questions what is keeping McGregor around, he does see McGregor’s love for competition on display and hopes if he returns to the Octagon, he’ll be in the Irish superstar’s corner.

I think there has been a resurgence in his passion and his love and I think if the right contest comes along, something that’s very interesting to him, a good challenge, something that will get the crowd going…I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t fight again as soon as…it could be even the summer.

That being said, however, Kavanagh says he understands McGregor’s recent troubles could have a bad impact on the sport in Ireland. McGregor is currently under investigation for an alleged sexual assault in Ireland, as well as facing robbery charges for allegedly smashing a fan’s phone in Miami, and allegedly assaulting a man in a Dublin bar.

“I do think, myself and everyone in Ireland that’s involved in MMA, we’re hugely thankful for what Conor has done,” Kavanagh said. “He shone a huge light on what we did…but he has made mistakes that I absolutely don’t condone. I know he regrets them, he’s paid for them, he’s trying to learn from them and he’s trying to move on.”

I hope we go back to doing the positive things; the goal setting, the work ethic, going for something that seems impossible. Those are the qualities I love in Conor, that I love talking about when I’m in the kids’ classes. I’m conscious of the fact that I need to set a good example for them and I know Conor does as well.

That’s what I want to get back to…the many, many positive qualities that he has.

Original Story: MMAFighting

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