John Kavanagh reveals how close UFC was to booking Conor McGregor-Justin Gaethje fight
- Conor McGregor has been wanting the Justin Gaethje fight since April.
- John Kavanagh, Conor McGregor's coach, reveals that it was close to happening.
Conor McGregor was asked by Ariel Helwani about possibly facing Justin Gaethje around UFC 246. He simply said that "he's on the list", but he seemed to want to fight The Highlight even more after he defeated Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 to claim the Interim Lightweight Championship.
Justin Gaethje, however, stated that he has no interest in that right now and will only seek the fight if he beats the current king of the 155-pound division Khabib Nurmagomedov. Conor McGregor's coach John Kavanagh discussed the possibility of the Justin Gaethje match-up on social media (via MMA World) and explained why he feels Gaethje is a great fight for Conor McGregor:
“I think the Gaethje fight is probably the best fight I could imagine because he has the style that really matches well with Conor,” Kavanagh said when discussing a potential showdown between Conor McGregor and Justin Gaethje. “Gaethje likes to march forward. He sits down on his shots, he throws heavy shots. He doesn’t seem to care about being hit, he likes coming forward. Conor’s always done very well as a counter fighter. Although he does walk forward, he responds to people’s attacks very well.”
He also revealed that the fight was so close to happening that they would have been preparing "any week now":
“It was close to being done,” Kavanagh claimed. “It’s kinda sad now that it didn’t happen. We have obviously the coronavirus and how everything went with the world. I think we could’ve been getting ready for that fight any week now if things hadn’t have happened the way they did. But here we are, so all we can do is speculate.”
Conor McGregor's retirement status and the future of the Lightweight division
As he mentioned, one can only wonder what could have been. Conor McGregor claims to be retired but it's hard to believe that as he has done the same thing as a publicity stunt on multiple occasions.
Either way, even in defeat, a Justin Gaethje-Conor McGregor fight isn't out of the realm of possibility. Dustin Poirier could be back in the mix after beating Dan Hooker in a 5-round war and Ariel Helwani suggested that Tony Ferguson would be the best opponent for him, assuming it's a Championship eliminator bout. It's going to be interesting to see how the Lightweight division plays out.
Justin Gaethje is expected to fight Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov on Fight Island later in the summer.Published 30 Jun 2020, 10:20 IST