Conor McGregor's possible role at UFC 249 revealed by John Kavanagh
- John Kavanagh opens up on Conor McGregor's rumored participation in UFC 249
- Kavanagh explains how the current situation has impacted their decision
Fans can stop expecting Conor McGregor to step in and save the UFC 249 title fight, according to his longtime coach and friend, John Kavanagh.
After Khabib Nurmagomedov announced in a statement that he will not be competing in the April 18 event, many speculated if McGregor will be brought in as a replacement. In an Instagram Live session with ESPN on Friday, Kavanagh dismissed any chance of that happening.
Kavanagh clears the air about McGregor competing
McGregor has been praised before by UFC top boss Dana White for taking up any fight at any time, regardless of the opponent. But situations are drastically different now, with the Coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc around the world.
Under the circumstances, Kavanagh says there is 'no chance' of McGregor competing at UFC 249. Maybe if it was any other time, when all of Ireland - Conor's home country - and the rest of the world was not shut down due to a deadly virus, things might have been different.
"No chance of that. Ireland is on a pretty strict lockdown (due to coronavirus). Me and Conor have no physical interactions. There’s no physical interaction at the gym. Gyms are shut down."
Even without the pandemic crisis, fighting someone like Tony Ferguson in 15-days time is not a risk that McGregor needs to take right after his brilliant comeback. He is not fighting to put food on the table anymore, Kavanagh said.
"To try and rush that together, I just don’t think it would be smart. He certainly isn’t fighting so that he has food for the next six months. That’s not where he is in his life."
McGregor had teased his followers earlier, by tweeting that he is in 'great shape' and if he had a fight during these times, he would have followed through and won. But at the same time, he has been urging everyone to stay indoors and stay safe on a regular basis ever since the outbreak happened.
For now, it seems like he will be sticking to the latter. Justin Gaethje, Kavanagh says, is the one that was being talked about as a replacement. McGregor was never really in the picture.
H/t to MMA Junkie for the quotes.