Now that UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor is scheduled to exit MMA and take his chances against Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas, fight fans can’t help wonder if “Notorious” will ever step back inside the Octagon. After all, McGregor is expected to bank roughly $100 million for his clash with “Money” and would never have to put his hands to use again. Luckily for UFC fans, McGregor is currently planning on returning to MMA later this year, per head coach John Kavanagh.
Here is what Kavanagh had to say in his recent submission to The 42:
“Many of the questions I’ve been receiving over the past week have focused on when Conor will fight in the UFC again. My expectation is that it will happen this year, although it’s always difficult to predict what Conor is going to do next.
“If he goes in there and knocks out Mayweather in the first round, there will probably be talk of rematches and stuff like that. But the tentative plan, as I see it, is certainly for a fight in the UFC in December. But in the meantime we’re completely focused on boxing and Floyd Mayweather.”
If McGregor does indeed return to UFC in December, it will give him a chance to bolster potentially the biggest card of 2017. With lightweight contenders like Tony Ferguson, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and of course Nate Diaz, waiting patiently, McGregor won’t experience any shortage of competition. But first, the 28-year-old must prepare for a boxing match with Mayweather, and Kavanagh believes McGregor is on the right track.
“I believe we have a number of advantages going into this fight. Often, people who are experts in a certain field will tell you that it can actually be more awkward to deal with somebody who’s not from the same field. They’d rather deal with the top contender from their own discipline because he’ll move in a way that you assume he’ll move.
“Mayweather has been in the boxing world for his entire career and everyone he’s faced has moved in a certain way that he’s pre-conditioned to handle. Now he’s going up against a guy who doesn’t follow any set patterns, who can deploy a variety of different styles of fighting and is not one bit intimidated. Conor is — as we all are here — 100% confident in victory. That kind of person is very difficult to deal with.”
While most combat fans consider McGregor’s move to boxing a cash grab, Kavanagh disagrees completely. In fact, the Straight Blast Gym head coach is aiming to again prove that McGregor can accomplish the unthinkable.
“We’re not going over to Las Vegas to make up the numbers on 26 August. When this contest takes place, we’ll be 100% ready — physically and mentally — and nothing other than victory will be acceptable.
“We’re looking forward to shocking the world — again.”
Only time will tell if McGregor and Kavanagh are putting the right pieces in place to compete inside of the boxing ring alongside Mayweather, but at least fight fans can count on a UFC return sometime in the near future.