UFC

McGregor 'looking great' ahead of Octagon return, says coach Kavanagh

By Sports Desk July 14, 2022

Conor McGregor is in fine shape and "looking great" ahead of his return to the octagon, according to the Irish fighter's coach John Kavanagh.

The 34-year-old was last in action at UFC 264 in July 2021, when a trilogy fight with bitter rival Dustin Poirier ended in defeat after McGregor suffered a nasty leg injury.

McGregor is back in training now, though, with Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler among the names linked for his comeback fight.

While the identity of his next opponent remains unclear, Kavanagh was quick to hail the impressive physical condition that McGregor has already achieved in the gym.

"He's healthy, happy and it's great to have him back," Kavanagh said. "He did a great session last night, we got some great rounds in. He hasn't lost a beat and was looking great."

McGregor's last fight with Poirier was at lightweight, but he has also competed at both featherweight and welterweight.

Kavanagh remains confident that his charge will be able to make whatever weight he chooses.

"Look, when we get to the stage of looking at weight classes and opponents there's nobody more professional than Conor at making weight and it will all be done properly," he added.

"When that silverback arm goes around your neck there's a bit of an extra squeeze there, so, he's very, very strong at the moment."

McGregor has previously come under scrutiny for his past actions and controversial comments at news conferences, but Kavanagh insists that his fighter does not always act like that.

"I always tell people, they see this kind of performance part of his persona," he continued.

"It's two or three times a year, at the press conferences and it's all very loud and glitzy and glamour and entertainment.

"It's the 52-weeks-of-the-year guy that part of me wishes some people would be more aware of. He's a very, very special part of the gym, as a whole, and I'll say my life."

Related items

  • ‘Historic’ night predicted as Mixed Martial Arts heads for Saudi Arabia ‘Historic’ night predicted as Mixed Martial Arts heads for Saudi Arabia

    Professional Fighters League founder Donn Davis has predicted a “historic” night ahead of the first Mixed Martial Arts event to take place in Saudi Arabia.

    PFL’s title holders go up against belt holders from Bellator in a never-seen-before night of champions in Riyadh on Saturday.

    This comes after the PFL acquired Bellator in November 2023.

    Davis is relishing the opportunity of becoming the first MMA promotion to tie a deal with the sovereign state in a sold out event.

    Speaking to the PA news agency, Davis said: “It’s historic. It’s the first-ever MMA event to take place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and we get to be a part of something historic in sport.

    “I think Saudi Arabia is the future of combat sports.

    “We’re a company of yes and there is another company out there who is the company of no and they can do what they want. We try to do things different and put the fans first.

    “It’s a big deal, this is our first primetime event and media deal on ESPN. Acquiring Bellator has also been a big deal and now this is a big step in us becoming a co-leader in MMA and we’re excited for Saturday.

    “This is a collaboration between our partners in Saudi Arabia and us at the PFL.”

    The inaugural event will feature the likes of PFL’s Ray Cooper III, Thiago Santos and Clay Collard as well as Bellator’s Patricio Pitbull, Yoel Romero, Ryan Bader and Johnny Eblen.

    Davis compared the format to an NBA All-Star game, insisting PFL’s putting the fans first mindset helped create the idea.

    “We wanted to do the first event in Saudi but only if it was a great big event,” Davis added.

    “We came up with an idea which has never been done before in combat sports. Champions against champions. PFL v Bellator.

    “It’s like an All-Stars game which has real stakes where the players and athletes really care.

    “We have big prize money with an extra belt where there’s a ring inside the belt. This is a big card with 12 current or former champions, six ultra champion bouts, this has never been done before.

    “People are asking what if all the Bellator fighters win? Then they all win. We try and do things the fans want to see.”

    PFL have worked alongside Saudi adviser Turki Alalshikh, who has helped put on major boxing events including the likes of Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.

    When asked about his experience of working with leading figures in Saudi, Davis said: “Everybody here. Turki, the minister of sport (Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal), the PIF team, they all want to win and excel and that is the shared value. It’s been a pleasure.”

  • Dana White hopeful Conor McGregor’s UFC return will happen this year Dana White hopeful Conor McGregor’s UFC return will happen this year

    Conor McGregor’s UFC return is still yet to be finalised as Dana White poured cold water on the Irishman’s suggestions he would fight this summer.

    The former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion has been out of the octagon since losing a rubber match to Dustin Poirier in July 2021 after sustaining a horrific leg break.

    A bout against Michael Chandler has been mooted for the last 12 months and McGregor revealed on New Year’s Eve he would make his comeback against the American on June 29 at the middleweight limit.

     

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Paradigm Sports (@paradigmsports)

     

    But when asked about when McGregor would be fighting next, White told the Pat McAfee Show: “Eventually – hopefully this year. There is no date. I’m hoping we get it done in the fall (autumn).”

    McGregor and Chandler were rival coaches on the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter television series, screened in the United States from May to August last year, after which it was thought the pair would face-off.

    McGregor only returned to the US Anti-Doping Agency testing pool in October although the UFC has since set up its own anti-doping programme.

  • Leon Edwards plans to defend welterweight title at UFC 300; also targeting fight in Birmingham Leon Edwards plans to defend welterweight title at UFC 300; also targeting fight in Birmingham

    Jamaican-born UFC Welterweight Champion says plans are in motion for his to defend his belt at the UFC’s biggest event of 2024, UFC 300, in Las Vegas in April.

    The reigning welterweight champion was in attendance for a match in Birmingham, England, between his club Aston Villa and Burnley on December 30 and he was brought on the field to address the fans at halftime.

    During his brief interview, Edwards announced that he plans to fight at UFC 300 and then also defend his title again sometime this summer in Birmingham.

    “I will defend my belt in April at UFC 300 in Vegas again, then hopefully in the summertime get a show back in Birmingham at Villa Park,” Edwards said.

    “I’m in talks with the UFC, so hopefully we can get it done,” he added.

    The UFC has announced several high-profile bouts for its milestone event on April 13, including Jiri Prochazka vs. Aleksandar Rakic and Aljamain Sterling vs. Calvin Kattar, but the lineup is still without a title fight.

    It appears that an Edwards title defense could be in the works or, at the very least, that the champion is volunteering his services.

    Edwards closed out 2023 with a unanimous decision win over Colby Covington at UFC 296 in December. It was Edwards’ second consecutive successful defense of the welterweight title and his 12th straight win (excluding one no-contest).

    That one no-contest came against current #2 ranked welterweight, Belal Muhammad, who could very well be Edwards’ next opponent.

    Since that fight three years ago, Muhammad has won five fights in a row. Overall, Muhammad’s record stands at 23-3 and he hasn’t lost a fight since 2019.

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.