Coach: What Happens After UFC 246 Key for Conor McGregor to Achieve 2020 Goals

By: Tristen Critchfield
Jan 14, 2020


The ordering process for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-views has changed: UFC 246 is only available on ESPN+ in the U.S.

SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh is supremely confident in Conor McGregor’s chances against Donald Cerrone with UFC 246 just a few days away.

That alone shouldn’t be a surprise. However, while Kavanagh has previously predicted a late finish for McGregor, that doesn’t mean he expects the fight to be particularly close.

“I think he’s too slick and too technical,” Kavanagh recent told The Mac Life. “Whether it’s something that happens in the first minute or if it goes the distance, if it goes 25 minutes, I don’t see it being a war. I see it being very one-sided. He’s on weight. He’s fitter than I’ve ever seen him. He’s relaxed, he’s happy, he’s calm. It’s really one of those … it’s a cliche, but it could not have gone better.”

The majority of McGregor’s most memorable moments have occurred in abbreviated contests, with the Irishman scoring a quick knockout or technical knockout victory. The “Notorious” one went the distance to earn a majority decision in a rematch with Nate Diaz in 2016 and also outpointed Max Holloway earlier in his career, but Kavanagh isn’t banking on his fighter needing more time to prove a point regarding his conditioning this time around.

“Would it be good to have some extra mintues in the Octagon? No harm, but what will be, will be,” he said.

McGregor previously outlined 2020 as a “season” in which he hopes to compete three times before year’s end. Assuming all goes as planned on Saturday in Las Vegas, Kavanagh say much will hinge on McGregor’s attitude in the days immediately following UFC 246. The trainer has a strong intuition that McGregor will be ready for a quick turnaround.

“Anytime around April would be nice (for another fight). I think what’s more important than that is what happens the week after the fight,” Kavanagh said. “He’s said it, so now he has to do it that we’re back in the gym on Monday. So let’s get back in the gym on Monday.

“I have a feeling the fight is going to go a certain way, and I have a feeling he’ll have a certain mindset when it’s over that, if something were to come along in February, he would jump in.”

Considering that McGregor hasn’t fought in the UFC since October 2018, Kavanagh believes that the former two-division champion is more than ready for a busy itinerary.

“If everything goes the way I visualize, yes. He’s had a year and some away from competition,” Kavanagh said. “But in that time he’s been training and he’s improving. A long time to prepare for this one, but let’s do a few in a row now.” Advertisement

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