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McGregor’s coach gives training update: Conor’s ‘very excited to attack 2022’

SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh shares how his star pupil Conor McGregor is doing, when we might see him return, and against who.

UFC 202: Diaz v McGregor 2 Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Conor McGregor isn’t out there granting many interviews, so we haven’t had many solid updates regarding his future. Sure, there’s a whole lot of late night tweet and delete sessions declaring a comeback for the ages, another Irish invasion in 2022, and maybe a fight against Max Holloway? It’s hard to separate the bluster and self-promotion from any real solid plans.

That’s where it’s good that we can turn to his longtime head coach John Kavanagh, who went on Submission Radio to let us know where Conor is at as far as training goes.

“He’s going to be back in the gym, he’s going to be back on the mats now in the next couple of weeks with me,” Kavanagh said. “He’s doing a lot of strength training at the moment. The guys is jacked. I think he’s coming back as a middleweight (laughs). But he’ll be back on the mats with me now shortly and we’ll start off with combat sports training again. And, he’s getting some, um… I always have to choose my words carefully here, but look, we’ll start with drills.”

When pressed, Kavanagh revealed it was going to be tough to try and ease McGregor back into light training.

“I actually joked with him, I said, ‘look, I’d rather if we just start off with some techniques, some drills, let’s see how you’re going’. And he’s like, ‘no, I’m going to do five by five, that’s what I’m coming back to do’. And I’m like, oh, great, you know, we’re straight into full combat training again. But, he’s very enthusiastic, very upbeat, very excited to attack 2022. And I’m not sure when he’ll be back, but he’ll be back.”

McGregor recently declared he’d return from his injury and walk right back into a lightweight title shot. And while we’ll have to see where the crowded title picture is at 155, his coach confirmed that he didn’t expect there to be a Cerrone-style warm-up fight before McGregor jumped back in the mix.

“He’s not so much about warm-up fights,” Kavanagh said. “He seems pretty warm to me as it is. So, what will come, will come. He’s got a hundred opponents lined up it would appear. But let’s just get back training, let’s test the leg and test everything, and when the time comes, I’m sure he won’t be short of choice.”

One particular choice is Max Holloway, who had McGregor strutting about in his living room shirtless fantasizing about a fight. Kavanagh sounded interested in that matchup, even though McGregor already blanked the Hawaiian 30-27 on all three judges’ scorecards when they fought back in 2013. Don’t expect “The Notorious” to go back down to featherweight for it, though.

“The funny thing is, I think for guys at Conor’s level and Max’s level and those guys, I don’t even really know why they bother cutting weight anymore, you know?” Kavanagh said. “It’s almost like, just let them fight. Cause I’d imagine Max is probably heavier than Conor outside of fighting. I’ve heard stories of him getting up to really high weight. So, why would they agree to fight and then spend eight weeks trying to deplete themselves, trying to get them down to some weight class to fight for some belt?”

“Max has had a few belts, Conor’s had a few belts. So, they’ve done that. Push that to one side. I don’t know if that’s important anymore. Just have them fight at their weight, whatever their weight is. Just let them do it (laughs). Whatever weight they are, let’s go.”

“Maybe they should have a boxing fight and decide it.”

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