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McGregor’s coach compares Chandler matchup to Mendes fight: ‘I think that’s how it could go’

Conor McGregor is getting the band back together for his upcoming coaching stint on The Ultimate Fighter and eventual showdown with lightweight contender Michael Chandler later this year.

One familiar face making his way back into the limelight is McGregor’s head coach, John Kavanagh, who has been a part of the Irishman’s success from the very beginning. Kavanagh has been right by McGregor’s side for all of the ups and downs he’s experienced throughout his legendary career and is eager to see “Notorious” get back on top in 2023.

Ahead of a matchup with Chandler — a fighter who possesses power wrestling and knockout power — Kavanagh believes McGregor could have the same sort of success that he did against Chad Mendes at featherweight all the way back in 2015. Chandler is certainly a larger and stronger opponent than Mendes, but Kavanagh suggests the two fighters possess very similar attributes.

“I think it could resemble a little bit the Mendes fight,” Kavanagh told Sherdog earlier this week. “Mendes was that style: blocky guy, big punches, big double legs. I think that’s how it could go. Conor has a good record against those kind of orthodox, stocky wrestlers with big overhand rights and big double legs. It’s an exciting one to prepare for. Chandler, he’s an excellent fighter, he’s got a great resume.”

Whether or not the matchup looks good on paper McGregor will need the proper motivation to ready himself for a return to the cage. Remember, the last time we saw “Notorious” compete he snapped his leg in a TKO loss to Dustin Poirier all the way back at UFC 264 in 2021. In total, McGregor has only fought three times since his title fight loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov over four years ago.

Luckily, Kavanagh believes McGregor is motivated enough to return to old form and prove he’s still a viable contender in the sport.

“Yeah, he’s never stopped training,” Kavanagh said. “He’s in phenomenal shape, and there’s a real excitement in him. There’s a real buzz around him. And I’ll be honest: You know what will be the level of motivation when you’ve achieved the titles you’ve achieved, the money etc.? But, man, I’ve never seen him as pumped as I’ve seen him recently.

“I’m just really excited. He’s excited to be back. I’m excited to have him back. I think it’s great for Irish MMA in general. I think it’s fair to say it’s great for MMA in general. I have zero concerns about motivation. The motivation is there to show everybody that this is his world, this is his game.”

What say you, Maniacs? Will Chandler suffer the same fate as Mendes did against McGregor?

Sound off!

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