Conor McGregor is currently recovering from a broken leg suffered at the elbow of Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 this past July. The injury lead to a TKO loss for the Irishman, his second-in-a-row taken against ‘The Diamond’ this calendar year.
While rehabbing his injury McGregor has attempted to stay relevant by launching outlandish and distasteful attacks against his rivals online. He has also found time to scuffle with at least two celebrities.
Despite becoming more ‘Notorious’ for his bad guy persona than his achievements in the cage, MMA is still abuzz with speculation regarding who McGregor may fight on his return, which assumed to be sometime next year.
McGregor’s head coach John Kavanaugh appeared on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani yesterday. There he discussed the possibilities open to McGregor, including a potential trilogy fight with Nate Diaz.
“I’ll be honest, the Nate Diaz trilogy is very, very tempting,” Kavanagh said (ht MMA Fighting). “It’s a fight that gives me nightmares. The man doesn’t stop coming forward, whether it’s three rounds or five rounds, but it’s an intriguing fight. So that one is definitely very interesting. But also the Tony Ferguson one — it never happened. It was talked about a lot. And Tony still has, I believe, a lot to offer the game. He’s a very unorthodox striker, grappler. I think the buildup would be fun for the fans. So any of those kind of legacy guys.”
McGregor and Diaz first met at UFC 196 in 2016. Diaz, who was coming in on short notice, won that fight via second round submission. The pair rematched a few months later with McGregor taking a split decision.
Despite that being over five years ago both McGregor and Diaz rarely miss a chance to trash talk each other online and speculate on how a rubber-match might go.
With Helwani, Kavanaugh also revealed that—no matter who McGregor draws at the top of the lightweight division—both coach and fighter have their work cut out for them.
”Look, that division is killer. Your Dan Hooker’s in there. The Islam [Makhachev] fight would be amazing as well, for obvious reasons. And we have whoever is going to win this belt coming up this Saturday. So, look, any of those names. I’m just excited to see Conor back healthy, training.”
Kavanaugh also divulged that, at first, he thought there was a chance McGregor would not return to competition. However, he said, his top student soon showed that he couldn’t quit fighting just yet.
“I wondered what would happen after this injury. It’s a long road back to recovery. The boy, it’s not a secret, he’s got a couple of quid in the bank. He could obviously go off and live on an island and play on his yacht for the rest of his life. But I have not seen one percent drop in his incredible drive and desire and passion and interest in the sport. I’ve said it to you many times, I’ve said it to everybody, that if you can get rid of money problems, you really find out what it is you’re passionate about, because you’ll only do something you really enjoy. He’s still in the gym, all day, every day.
“We’re still chatting about fighting techniques, all day, every day. He’s still talking about getting that belt again, all day, every day. What can you conclude from this? He loves fighting. He loves mixed martial arts. He loves competition. So let’s get back healthy, let’s get back training, and let’s go on a run in ‘22, and I’m sure there’s some people there with steam coming out of their ears that he’s coming back for that belt, but I’m sorry to upset you — he’s coming back there for that belt, so give me your best shot on Twitter.”