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John Kavanagh prefers Nate Diaz over Khabib Nurmagomedov as McGregor's next opponent

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Conor McGregor's trainer John Kavanagh has made his own opponent pick for their maiden lightweight title defense.

Khabib Nurmagomedov may have stated his case for the next title shot after convincingly defeating Michael Johnson at UFC 205 on Saturday night. However, it is not the fight that John Kavanagh wants for newly-minted lightweight champion Conor McGregor.

During his appearance on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Kavanagh put "The Eagle" aside, along with Tony Ferguson, for someone else he has in mind.

"Now, I’m going to give you my full opinion. I think the second best 145er is Max Holloway, in my opinion. And I think the second best 155er is Nate Diaz," Kavanagh explained. "That’s my opinion."

"I think Nate would beat either Tony or Khabib. I think he really turned a corner with the Michael Johnson fight. I think we saw a new version of him. I think he looked fantastic in both Conor’s fights."

Diaz, of course, fought two memorable fights against McGregor, with the second one even breaking records. McGregor had previously said that he is willing to give Diaz a shot if he does end up winning the lightweight strap. His coach apparently agrees.

"Now, I understand Khabib is the number one contender and it’s probably gonna be him if that’s how the company works but for me, interest wise, the Nate fight would interest me greater because of that. If it’s Tony, if it’s Khabib, great. They are two fantastic fighters."

Kavanagh's interview begins at the 1:25:45 mark of the video.