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Coach Kavanagh: ‘Haters’ would love to see McGregor challenge Woodley for third belt

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McGregor’s long time coach, John Kavanagh, said ‘the haters’ would love to see McGregor humbled against Woodley.

Conor McGregor challenging Tyron Woodley for the welterweight title isn’t beyond the realm of possibility. After all, ‘The Notorious’ is now a two-weight world champion, so why not aim for a third title?

The featherweight and lightweight champ has hinted at pursuing the welterweight belt in the past and McGregor has already fought twice at that weight class. McGregor is tied 1-1 with the scrappy Nate Diaz, who he fought at 170 lbs at UFC 196 and UFC 202 (McGregor lost the first bout via submission but won the rematch via majority decision).

Woodley, though, who fought top contender Stephen Thompson to a draw at UFC 205, is a different beast. ‘The Chosen One’ has a much heavier build than native lightweight Diaz and admits to walking around in between camps at around 200 pounds. McGregor, who dethroned LW champ Eddie Alvarez in New York, weighed in under the 170 pound limit in both contests against Diaz and was the visibly smaller man.

Coach John Kavanagh, who trains McGregor at SBG Ireland in Dublin, believes the critics would love to see his star student overmatched against Woodley.

"I'm sure the haters would love that," Kavanagh said to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, per MMA Fighting’s Marc Raimondi.

Kavangh, though, thinks people would underestimate McGregor going into the contest and says it’s a ‘doable’ achievement.

"He's not enormous," Kavangh said of Woodley. "He's not some Goliath man. He's a little bit bigger. Conor would have reach on him, he would have technique on him in the striking, for sure. He'd have to of course deal with that power. ... I certainly don't in my head go, ‘Oh my God, no. We couldn't possibly beat him.' It's a doable fight."

After celebrating with the featherweight and lightweight titles at UFC 205, McGregor demanded part-ownership of the promotion said he wouldn’t be coming back unless new terms were negotiated.