Former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor and his coach John Kavanagh make one of the strongest pairs in combat sports history.
However, once upon a time, when Conor McGregor wasn't a household name, the Irish power-puncher was schooled by Kavanagh during one of their first training sessions. Speaking to the Irish Independent, Kavanagh revealed that he once laid some heavy punishment on his most famous pupil because Conor McGregor had dropped now-retired Irish women's strawweight Aisling Daly during a sparring session.
"It sounds worse than it was. He wasn't hitting her in the head or anything, but just happened to throw a body shot that hit her in the sweet spot, the solar plexus, and put her down. I got a little emotional because Ais had been with me a long time and the other guys would look after her. But this new guy had come in and put her down, and my protective nature kicked in."
John Kavanagh : "I beat the s**t out of Conor McGregor"
According to Kavanagh, he "beat the s**t out of" Conor McGregor in the sparring session and that's what earned him the former lightweight and featherweight champ's respect.
'I was still fighting at that stage, or hadn't stopped that long, so I put the gloves on - actually, he has corrected me on that and says it was bare knuckles. But I held him down and beat the s**t out of him, without putting too fine a point on it. I kept hitting him in the body until he couldn't breathe and then I looked at him: 'What's it going to be? We can train or we can fight?' And he was OK from the next day.'
Conor McGregor returned to the Octagon back in January in the main event of UFC 246 and defeated Donald Cerrone via TKO within a minute of the first round. However, the Irish superstar recently announced his retirement from MMA and the same has been confirmed by UFC president Dana White.Published 01 Sep 2020, 23:05 IST