Conor McGregor’s Head Coach John Kavanagh Prefers Nate Diaz Trilogy Fight Over Khabib Nurmagamedov… Here’s Why…
John Kavanagh and Conor McGregor have been through many wars together. The head coach of SBG Dublin has guided his star pupil the whole way up from Cage Warriors to the UFC. He’s also Ireland’s first ever BJJ black belt, just in case anyone doubts his credentials as a martial artist.
Although he let Owen Roddy, McGregor’s striking coach, take the lead for the ‘Notorious’s’ exhibition against Floyd Mayweather, Kavanagh is set to lead preparations for McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagamedov, a fight that he would bet ‘any money’ will happen in 2018.
However, surprisingly, the Khabib Nurmagamedov fight is not the one that he wants. Nope, he feels like McGregor has unfinished business with a former opponent, that makes for a much more interesting and entertaining fight. In an interview with MMANYT.com, he outlined his reasons for preferring Nate Diaz to Khabib Nurmagamedov.
First, let’s get this out of the way: he’s not suggesting that McGregor dodges Khabib, or that the Nate Diaz fight is more likely to happen over a war with the ‘Eagle.’ Nope, he just gave his honest personal preference, knowing that it would be at odds with what most fans want. He said:
“Nate Diaz is my favorite fight, by the way. If I could pick a fight for the next one it would be that trilogy. I realize it’s not the fan-favorite. The fan favorite, without a close second, is the Khabib fight, but for me, it’s the Nate Diaz rematch and I think the Khabib fight is a lot more straightforward.”
Does Kavanagh have a point? A fight against Khabib would be box office in terms of production and build-up. All the hype is behind it after McGregor threw that dolly through the window of that bus. However, we know what’s going to happen. Either McGregor gets taken down and brutalized until he’s finished, or he KOs Khabib in the first couple of rounds.
However, a fight with Diaz could be much more entertaining when it’s actually in the cage. In their first fight, at UFC 196, the Stockton fighter shocked the world by inflicting McGregor’s first and only defeat in the UFC, by submission. The Irishman gassed out, was clipped, dropped and strangled out.
Then in their second fight, voted last year as the greatest ever in the history of the UFC by the fans, McGregor won by the tightest of margins. Unable to knock Diaz out, he had to be much more tactical, actively moving away to get his breath back. The Californian is the perfect foil in terms of style and makes for great, bloody fights.
It very well might happen sometime soon in the future, because there won’t be many options left for McGregor in the UFC that will generate public interest. Kavanagh firmly believes that Nate Diaz would be the most exciting fight. He said:
”For me, he had already lost to him, it’s a bigger guy, Conor’s skill set is shutting people’s consciousness off and he’s impossible – a freaking Homer Simpson head, he just keeps moving forward.”
Right now though, Khabib Nurmagamedov is the fight that has to happen.