Conor’s coach has offered his opinion as to who Conor faces next…

Conor McGregor’s head coach revealed who he feels Conor’s next opponent is, and his answer might surprise a few people.

John Kavanagh is the head coach of SBG Ireland, home to Conor McGregor, Gunnar Nelson, Artem Lobov and others. He is the first jiu jitsu black belt to come from Ireland, and he’s helped build his home country into an emerging MMA powerhouse.

He’s played a large role in Conor’s career, and is able to offer incites to his future that others can’t. So when Kavanagh thinks a certain fight is in Conor’s future there’s a good chance it is.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Conor to Defend the Lightweight Championship?

John Kavanagh called into Submission Radio, an Australian-based MMA radio program, while promoting his book “Win or Learn: Conor McGregor and Me: A Trainer’s Journey”.

While Kavanagh believes Conor will eventually defend the UFC lightweight championship, he doesn’t believe it will necessarily be in his next bout. Nevertheless, he offered his thoughts on Conor potentially facing the winner of UFC 209’s co main event.

 “He did only win it a couple of months ago, so he is the lightweight champion. So I can’t imagine him not fighting the winner of that (Nurmagomedov/Ferguson). We gotta see what happens with the Mayweather talks and all that, but yeah I do believe that will happen, yes.”

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports)

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz III

Coach Kavanagh also offered his thoughts on a potential trilogy bout between Conor and Nate.

“I’ve said it before – the Nate [Diaz] rematch interests me a lot because it’s 1-1 and [because of] how the styles match up, Almost on a par with that, not much difference will be the winner of Khabib and Ferguson this weekend. I think Khabib does it, so I think Khabib will be the winner. So Khabib will be the match-up out of that. Below that would be GSP [Georges St-Pierre]. Purely because GSP was an incredible fighter, [I’m a] big fan of him, I’ve learnt a lot from watching his fights, but it’s a long time since he’s fought and the game changes very, very quickly and I think Khabib is sort of like a better version of GSP. Although we don’t know, it’s hard to tell how GSP and Khabib would match up. But yeah, MMA-wise, Nate or almost on a par winner of Khabib-Ferguson.”

All seems quite in Stockton these days, with neither Nate or Nick saying much about upcoming fights. It’s possible Nate won’t fight again until he gets a third bout with Conor, or at least that seems to be the case.

May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather celebrates on the ropes after his welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather

The fight that John Kavanagh thinks is most likely next for Conor is against Floyd Mayweather.

“It seems like it’s coming, when or how definite I don’t know. But it’s looking more likely. The two guys seem to want it and there making moves towards it.”

Kavanagh conceded he is not privy to all the information, but his opinion is the bout with Floyd will happen.

“If you’re asking my personal, uneducated opinion on it, I’d say it’s going to happen”

The SBG Ireland head coach seems to revel at the challenge a bout with Floyd would bring.

 “I’ll be honest, like right from the beginning I’ve been used to hearing ‘you can’t do this, you can’t do that, you can’t. You won’t train somebody up to a UFC-level from Ireland. You don’t have wrestling or grappling. It’s impossible to fight for a world title, it’s impossible to hold two world titles, it’s impossible to have a thousand-square meter gym dedicated to MMA.’ So I’ve just heard those things my whole life and yet here I am, I’m talking to you and I have a best-selling book and I’m coming to Australia to talk about that and I’ve got a world-renowned gym. So we’re kind of used to being told what we can’t do, but we don’t pay too much attention to it, we just get on and make things happen.”

Conor and Floyd have been teasing this potential super-bout for awhile, but things seem to be moving forward in recent months. The key factor is whether or not Conor would be free to compete in a boxing bout outside the UFC. Some say Conor should be entitled to do as such, but not surprisingly the UFC disagrees.


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Ian is a MMA writer based out of Toronto, ON Canada. An avid mixed martial arts enthusiast and passionate fan since he was born, Ian has been writing about mixed martial arts for over 5 years.