Coach John Kavanagh has stated that the Conor Mcgregor who fought at UFC 257 was the best version of him and was very much Dedicated and Motivated than ever before.
Conor McGregor seemed to be in control early in his fight against Dustin Poirier on Saturday night but then suddenly he wasn’t and he was on the mat looking dazed and confused after being knocked out in the second round at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi.
Former UFC double champion McGregor (22-5 MMA, 10-3 UFC) suffered a technical knockout loss – the first of his career – in a rematch against Poirier (27-6 MMA, 20-6 UFC). Before the finish, Poirier damaged McGregor’s legs with an onslaught of leg kicks.
McGregor, 32, was handed a 180-day medical suspension as a result of a potential right tibia/fibula injury sustained in the fight. Like all medical suspensions, he will be eligible to return sooner, if his injuries are cleared by a doctor.
Having never been stopped before in his MMA career, seeing a bloodied and beaten McGregor on the canvas would have been a first for most fans. It is probably a first for McGregor’s team as well since the Irishman was not even dropped by the great Floyd Mayweather.
John Kavanagh on Conor Mcgregor’s loss at UFC 257
However, Kavanagh has maintained loss is simply part of life and backed ‘The Notorious’ to rise again.
He said on the Wimp2Warrior Instagram page: “We had a big fight and unfortunately we came up short but here’s the secret; you will live with it, we are all disappointed but we’re OK.
Throughout Conor’s career, there has been a common perception that the Irishman has lost his focus and isn’t as determined as he once was when he made his way up the featherweight division. However, for his head coach in Kavanagh, he says the Irishman was fully dedicated and motivated and this was the best Conor he has seen.
“I can tell you, I’ve never seen him as dedicated and motivated, training with intensity for as long of a period. The year was tipping along but it became fight camp training six months ago,” Kavanagh said to ESPN. “That is more than he has ever done in his career. The Eddie fight was a beautiful fight where he won the second belt and he didn’t have as long or arduous of a training camp for that as he did for this. No, I can absolutely, hand on heart say, Dustin, bested the best Conor I have ever seen.”
Early on in the feet, Conor had some success. He landed a hard left hand that Poirier admitted after the fight stunned him. The Irishman didn’t look like he was out of the Octagon for a year and even won the first round.
Yet, in the second, Poirier’s leg kicks started to add up. He eventually went upstairs to KO McGregor and exact his revenge. Immediately after the loss, many wondered what the Irishman’s training camp was like. People also wondered if he was motivated. But, Kavanagh knows Conor did everything he could.
Now, just days removed from the rematch, McGregor is already thinking about the trilogy and settling the score.
“He’s already harassing everybody to get the rematch, so we would love to rematch,” Kavanagh told UFC broadcast partner ESPN. “I don’t think Dustin is against that. If we can get the rematch before summer, that would be amazing.
“If it’s not to be, then I guess I don’t know. Maybe he (McGregor) drifts off into the boxing. So if the MMA community could help me out here, get behind me, and pester the UFC to give him another fight sooner rather than later – so I don’t lose him to boxing for six months – I would appreciate it.”
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