As noted over the weekend, Conor McGregor was stripped of the UFC Featherweight Championship by the organization just two weeks after the Irishman defeated Eddie Alvarez to win the promotion’s Lightweight Championship. With that win, McGregor became the first UFC fighter to simultaneously hold two weight class championships until he was stripped. In an interview on Ireland-based Red FM, McGregor’s long-time coach John Kavanagh addressed the UFC’s decision.
Kavanagh, who has coached McGregor for eleven years, told the show that he was “disappointed by how they went about doing it,” calling the decision a short-sighted one. UFC had made the decision to strip the featherweight championship after Daniel Cormier pulled out of his light heavyweight title defense against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson at UFC 206. The main event of that card is now an interim featherweight championship bout between Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis.
“They lost a main event, and then they haphazardly threw together a new main event, and they felt they had to make this for a title in order for it to sell, So they brought in another interim title that Jose Aldo already has, then bumped Jose Aldo up, which just seems ridiculous to me. Conor’s only 11 months since he won that title, and there’s been many, many examples of fighters waiting 15, 18 months before defending it. He’s 11 months, and they stripped him of it. I thought it was very shortsighted by the UFC in how they went about doing it.”
Also in the interview, Kavanagh noted that McGregor is weighing out his next career move. As far as UFC opponents are concerned, both Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov are possibilities. Khabib has called out McGregor on the heels of his dominant performance at UFC 205 against Michael Johnson and continues to bang the drum of social media to demand a title shot. Kavanagh praised both men, but noted that he felt McGregor was superior to them.
“Both of those guys are fantastic fighters; I would relish the challenge of preparing him for either one of them. They’re different style of fighters, but I have no doubt in my mind that Conor will run through either one of them. He is, I believe right now, the best fighter on the planet. His skillset is so high, his mental strength is so strong, that I don’t see anybody being able to survive with him in the Octagon.”
Kavanagh also admitted that there was an outside possibility of McGregor fighting the undefeated Floyd Mayweather in a boxing superfight, noting that it wouldn’t surprise him if it happened. McGregor now has his California boxing license.
“[Mayweather is] 49-0. I’m sure he wants that 50th fight. It’s a nice number. Right now, ask the average guy on the street, who do you want to see Mayweather fight, what fight’s going to get the most interest, and it would be a superfight with Conor. Certainly stranger things have happened in combat sports than a Mayweather-Conor fight. It’s one of the many options that are there for Conor, so let’s see how the next couple weeks go.
There’s a lot more that you can listen to at the provided link.