John Kavanagh: ‘I Know He [Conor McGregor] Will Be Back’

Straight Blast Gym leader and head coach to former two-weight UFC champion, Conor McGregor, John Kavanagh has commented on the likely next year return of his student following a catastrophic leg injury suffered in July — claiming that the Dubliner is “excited, enthusiastic, and upbeat” regarding his Octagon return.

McGregor, a former undisputed UFC lightweight and featherweight champion, headlined UFC 264 back in July in a trilogy rubber match against former interim titleholder, upcoming UFC 269 headliner, Dustin Poirier.

The 33-year-old suffered an opening round TKO doctor’s stoppage defeat to the Louisianan after he suffered a fracture of his left tibia at the end of the first frame. And in the time since, has undergone a surgical procedure to address his tibia fracture, and is still currently rehabilitating and recovering from the procedure.

Faced with snapping a two-fight losing streak for the first time in his professional career, McGregor has entertained possible comeback fights against the likes of former foes, Poirier, Max Holloway, and Nate Diaz, as well as continual links to pairings against Tony Ferguson, Rafael dos Anjos, Michael Chandler, and Jorge Masvidal.

Commenting on the impending return of McGregor next year, the aforenoted, Kavanagh revealed the Crumlin native is “enthusiastic” regarding his return to the Octagon, and is slated to return to his native Dublin in the upcoming weeks to begin training once again.

He [Conor McGregor] is coming back to Ireland and will be back on the mats with me in the next couple of weeks,” Kavanagh told Submission Radio. “He is doing a lot of strength training at the moment, the guy is jacked I think he will be coming back at middleweight.

But we will start off with combat sports training again and drills, I joked to him and said we should start off with techniques but he said he wanted to come back with five-by-five [five, five minute rounds],” Kavanagh said. “He is enthusiastic, excited, and upbeat to come back in 2022, and although I am not sure when he will come back I know he will be back.

Kavanagh laid out a goal for McGregor, akin to his usual approach with his students, detailing that they should plan to improve themselves over a period of three months in a bid to beat their former selves.

You make adjustments each time and you’re trying to improve and opponents can change,” Kavanagh said. “As long as the focus is on — like I’d always say to Conor [McGregor] and all my guys, the goal is that if you’re doing a three months you could beat your former self. That’s really all you can do is to try to improve yourself,


Ross Markey

An MMA fan since 2011 and covering the sport since 2016, Ross Markey has built himself into a top journalist in combat sports.

First catching on to MMA and the UFC in particular back when Brock Lesnar fought Shane Carwin, and even more so when he fought Alistair Overeem back in 2011, Ross really became enchanted with the sport from late-2013-2014 onwards.

He initially began covering MMA in tandem with football back in June 2016 just as he was finishing school. The first real event he covered on his own personal blog was UFC 200 in July of that year during international fight week. His content consisted of previews and event and results recaps. In between jobs, Ross produced content on the side before transitioning to a full-time position back in early 2019.

He initially started creating content on his own blog back in June of 2016, before becoming a staff writer, lead writer, and editor for websites such as MMA Motion, Combat Insiders, Fight Bananas, FightPost, Severe MMA, MMA Power Hour, FightBook MMA, LowKick MMA, and of course, Current MMA.

Back in 2019, Ross received the award Top Journalist of 2019 for FightBook MMA, before he was then promoted to the website's lead writer. Following a six-month period at MMA Power Hour, he was also employed as a junior editor for the company. Throughout his time in the industry, he has interviewed the likes of Colby Covington, Rhys McKee, Pedro Carvalho, Felicia Spencer, Eryk Anders, Jussier Formiga, Danni Neilan, Frans Mlambo, Alex Lohore, Blaine O'Driscoll, Modestas Bukauskas, Ross Houston, Jon Fitch, and Richie Smullen.

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