John Kavanagh Believes Conor McGregor Should Get the Next Title Shot

John Kavanagh is the head coach of Straight Blast Gym (SBG) in Dublin, Ireland. With the recent emergence of Irish MMA fighters in the UFC, Kavanagh has been put in the spotlight as well. Kavanagh is the coach of UFC fighters Aisling Daily, Patrick Holohan, Cathal Pendred, Gunnar Nelson and most notably Conor McGregor.

On Monday’s episode of “The MMA Hour” Ariel Helwani spoke to Kavanagh about Conor McGregor following his UFC 178 knockout victory over Dustin Poirier. [source]

When asked what’s next for the Irish sensation, here’s what Kavanagh had to say:

“I don’t know, he’s kinda playing around with some different ideas. He’s saying maybe doing a 155 [pounds] fight before Christmas. I don’t really know. I guess this is up to, for him, and Uncle Frank [Frank Fertitta] or Big L [Lorenzo Fertitta] and, of course, [Sean] Shelby and Joe Silva and all of those guys to kinda work out what the next step is.”


Kavanagh also believes that McGregor should be next in line for a Featherweight title shot and went on to talk about McGregor’s skill as a striker, comparing his punching skill to that of a professional middleweight boxer:

“I guess the featherweight top, the top tier guys are all so close now and there’s big contests already on the way. It can go one of many ways. It is the entertainment industry and I don’t think it’s any mystery to say who is getting the most numbers. It would seem obvious it should be Conor that’s next in line regardless of circumstances. But who knows? I guess we’ll kinda have to wait and see. Mendes and Aldo is on pretty soon, so I’m looking forward to seeing that and how the other top featherweight fight play out.”

“I’ve said this before. I honestly believe it’s a little bit of a different path the Europeans take to get into the UFC. After his first fight in the UFC he was ready for the belt. [Max] Holloway did well, kind of surviving the three rounds even though he [McGregor] basically had one leg. Has anyone else been out of the first round besides Holloway? No.”

“Dustin is an excellent martial artist, but there is a difference when Conor lands. I always see it. I’m in that corner. I see them walking towards him and the first shot lands and the eyes get a little bit wider because he really does hit like a pro boxing middleweight, never mind a MMA middleweight. Pro boxers know how to hit with different mechanics than your typical MMA guy that just swings his arm. You see that realization and suddenly they’re backing off and they start to crumble.”

“Aldo, he has a high-level striking background, maybe he’s the guy that can take some of those shots and be willing to stand there. I’m not sure because I don’t think he’s been hit this way either. I believe Conor’s been ready for that spot since day one and yeah, we’re ready to go if Mendes, for whatever reason, had to pull out. He would jump right in there in a heartbeat’s notice.” said Kavanagh