Coach Would be “Very Surprised” if Conor McGregor Doesn’t Fight Before Summer
Dana White has said the plan is to have Conor McGregor wait out and fight for the lightweight title later this year. But, the star's longtime coach sounds pretty certain McGregor will compete again before this summer.
After Conor McGregor stormed through Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 last weekend, Dana White didn’t sound too interested in having the star compete in a fight that’s not for the lightweight title. But, in keeping with what McGregor has said about staying active in 2020, his head coach John Kavanagh is pretty sure “Notorious” will fight again, soon.
Kavanagh comments on a timeline for McGregor’s next bout
Leading up to UFC 246, McGregor said he was approaching 2020 like a season, and that he wants to fight three times this year. While McGregor has never stopped calling for a rematch with the 155 king, Khabib Nurmagomedov, he’s also expressed an interest in fighting the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Justin Gaethje and Nate Diaz.
But, after McGregor took out Cerrone in just 40 seconds this past weekend, White argued that having the star fight for the lightweight belt next, makes the most sense. So, since Khabib is set to fight Tony Ferguson on April 18th, this would likely mean McGregor wouldn’t compete again until late summer (assuming Nurmagomedov – Ferguson goes through).
“I’d be very surprised if he wasn’t going to compete before the summer,” said Kavanagh. “There were talks of March or April so (he’s) definitely going to be competing before the summer. What I think would make sense was that we get ready, we prepare for the April fight (and) if one of those guys isn’t fortunate enough to be able to make the walk, we’re ready to go and then if that’s not there, if the guys make it, schedule one within a few weeks of that and then you’re kind of on the same timeline as those guys for a fight a couple of months after that.”
Will McGregor fight this spring?
When you consider what McGregor has said before about staying busy, Kavanagh’s take here shouldn’t come as a surprise. Further, after Conor’s big win this past weekend, he repeated that he doesn’t want to wait around on the sidelines to face the winner of Khabib – Ferguson.
The question is, however, is the UFC willing to jeopardize Khabib – Conor 2, or even McGregor – Ferguson, by having him fight in the interim? There’s no doubt that a rematch with Nurmagomedov – if Khabib does agree to it – would be absolutely massive.
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The other thing to consider here, however, is that the UFC has already built out its pay-per-view schedule through April. UFC 247 is taking place on February 8th with Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes, and then on March 7th, UFC 248 is going down with Israel Adesanya vs. Yoel Romero. Is it possible the UFC would add Conor to UFC 248? It’s not impossible, but that card also has another title fight booked in Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
So, where would another McGregor fight get placed? The April 18th, UFC 249 card that features Khabib? Tensions would rocket through the roof for that card if so. Or, could the UFC add a second PPV card for that month? Featuring Conor?