Conor McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh has provided an update on his fighter’s return to the Octagon, following the former UFC champion’s leg break against Dustin Poirier.
McGregor has lost twice to Poirier in 2021, knocked out by the American in the second round in January before suffering a broken leg at the end of the first round in July.
The Irishman is expected back in the ring in the first half of 2022, and coach Kavanagh spoke to Submission Radio about his compatriot’s recovery and impending return.
“He’s going to be back in the gym, he’s going to be back on the mats now in the next couple of weeks with me,” Kavanagh said.
“He’s doing a lot of strength training at the moment. The guy is jacked. I think he’s coming back as a middleweight! But he’ll be back on the mats with me now shortly and we’ll start off with combat sports training again.
“I actually joked with him, I said: ‘Look, I’d rather if we just start off with some techniques, some drills, let’s see how you’re going.’ And he’s like: ‘No, I’m going to do [five five-minute rounds], that’s what I’m coming back to do.’
“And I’m like: ‘Oh great…’ But he’s very enthusiastic, very upbeat, very excited to attack 2022. And I’m not sure when he’ll be back, but he’ll be back.”
McGregor has been linked to potential bouts with former foes Max Holloway and Nate Diaz, and Kavanagh said: “He’s not so much about warm-up fights. He seems pretty warm to me as it is.
“So, what will come, will come. He’s got a hundred opponents lined up, it would appear, but let’s just get back training, let’s test the leg and test everything. When the time comes, I’m sure he won’t be short of choice [of opponents].
“Whoever he faces, he’ll be highly motivated. It’s clear at this stage Conor has a few quid, he’s got a few dollars in the bank account. So, that’s not the motivating factor at this stage, his motivating factor is competition and to improve himself and to test himself against whoever it is.”