Head coach John Kavanagh insisted he would like to see that his trainee Conor McGregor had trilogy with Nate Diaz, and he is not wary with his fighter’s capacity to hand a defeat to American mixed martial artist.
Former featherweight and lightweight champ McGregor is looking set for a return to the UFC’s lightweight championship at the Octagon, and his instructor Kavanagh back in March said he looed forward to McGregor having a trilogy with Diaz.
In a recent conversation with Ariel Helwani at MMA Show, Kavanagh reiterated his preference for wanting a Diaz-McGregor fighting as his fighter’s first and next challenge.
“I always loved the Diaz trilogy, I’ve kind of said that from the start. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Nate looks in his fight coming up [against Anthony Pettis]. That would be just as a fan, very exciting. Justin Gaethje kind of reminds me of that similar style, you know he can take a tremendous amount of punishment and keep coming forward. Honestly if it’s Conor excited, motivated, and pushing himself hard, it doesn’t really matter all that much to me. Anybody in the UFC that Conor McGregor would be fighting are good opponents, they have different challenges. If you put a gun to me, it would be the Diaz trilogy.”
As Kavanagh lays out who he’d like to see McGregor fight in his return, he also told Helwani that he’d like to see the former champion come back motivated.
“I really want to see him motivated. You probably saw the Tony Robbins interview where he spoke about losing that for a bit. This is a game where it’s full-on, it’s full-contact, it’s dangerous. When he won the second belt, [beating Eddie Alvarez] he achieved everything he set out to achieve. He was very wealthy, he was world champion, so you got to sit down and take some time and think what’s going to motivate you to do it anymore?
He said himself that became a bit of a problem, you know like what is it? Is it get another belt, is it make some more money? I think what has come back around, it’s the love of the sport. He loves doing it, he loves training, he loves competing. And legacy, that he’s remembered being one of the best, if not the best ever. So that’s what has really come back to him since the beginning of the year. That’s what I wanted to see. He’s obviously a very well-known student of mine but he’s also somewhat like a kid brother, I wouldn’t want to see him doing something just for the sake of doing it and maybe getting hurt or whatever cause he’s not fully there.” said John Kavanagh. “Now he absolutely is. We’re having a lot of deep conversations about technical sequences and training regimes and so on, it really reminds me of his rise and to see that again is exciting.”
However, Diaz, who had initially knocked out a possibility of facing Mcgregor has shifted his attention to fight Anthony Pettis at UFC 241 in August further seemed to have confirmed his disinterest in having a trilogy fight with Conor McGregor.
In his recent chats with Ariel Helwani, Diaz said he would not be returning to any fight in the lightweight division, as he continued to focus on welterweight.