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Conor McGregor’s coach reveals ‘interesting negotiations,’ willing to ‘bet my house’ on 2023 return

SBG Dublin head coach John Kavanagh is confident about Conor McGregor’s UFC return this year.

Bellator 275 - 3Arena Photo by Brian Lawless/PA Images via Getty Images

SBG Dublin head coach John Kavanagh is confident about Conor McGregor’s UFC return this year. On Monday’s MMA Hour episode, Kavanagh gave some updates on his superstar fighter’s immediate career future.

“I’d be willing to bet my house on it,” he said about McGregor’s possible 2023 comeback. “I was actually just chatting with him yesterday or the day before and then [his manager] Audie [Attar] was in town.

“Yeah, I think there’s some interesting negotiations going along now. I absolutely can’t say anything beyond that, but I’m very, very confident that we’ll see Conor back in the octagon this year.”

Given McGregor’s newfound jacked physique at 190 pounds, it is unclear which weight class he competes in upon his return. And according to Kavavnagh, the next fight should be “massively motivating” for “The Notorious.”

“I’m asked this so often and I have to be honest when I say I really don’t mind,” Kavanagh said about McGregor’s next fight.

“What matters to me is that, let’s say I’m seeing Conor this week and we’re chatting and he says a few names and I see a name particularly gets the eyes open, particularly gets his pacing up and down the living room and showing me what he’s going to do and what he’s not going to do.

“That would be absolutely the most important thing for me, is that it’s a name that’s going to excite him.

“Because for Conor, for training for this next fight, he’s definitely got to find something that’s massively motivating to him to get him out of the silk pants and into the sweaty gym.

“What’s it going to be? A couple million more? Is that really going to motivate him? I don’t think so. He has a couple of championship belts. Is that it? I don’t think so.

“So I think it’s more going to be a particular opponent, a particular skill set, and how it matches up against him.”

McGregor, who turns 35 in July, has been shelved since 2021 when he broke his leg at UFC 264 against Dustin Poirier. He also left the USADA testing pool and will need to be back for six consecutive months before he gets the green light to compete again.

About the author: Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments. (full bio)