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UFC News: McGregor's coach, John Kavanagh says he just shares a professional relationship with the champ, nothing more

Adithya Pai
397   //    02 Nov 2016, 17:39 IST
The Notorious Team!

Conor McGregor and John Kavanagh share one of the strongest bonds in professional sports. Their relationship brings to memory the chemistry between Muhammad Ali and his trainer Angelo Dundee.

One would assume they are best pals who would go out for drinks every weekend. But the grand master of SBG Ireland describes the relationship to be only a that of a coach and his fighter. 

Kavanagh revealed the scenario of his friendship with McGregor while being interviewed by Paul Kimmage of the Independent:

“I don’t want it to come out wrong if he reads it… I wouldn’t be super-friendly with Conor. We wouldn’t go to a match together. I don’t go to the cinema with him. I don’t go for meals with him, or it would be very rare. I’m his coach and he’s my athlete and I kind of like it like that. He had a party last Saturday in Dublin, but I wouldn’t go to that. When he has his after-parties at the fights, I don’t go to them.”

Though it might seem unusual to others, it appears that Kavanagh isn’t interested in partying or buddying up with any of his disciples. His mindset is similar to legendary boxing coach Freddie Roach’s; who prefers not to get too close to his fighters and maintains a rather professional approach.

“The last one (party), Orlagh begged me to go and we walked into this nightclub and it was nuts. I said: ‘I’m going home.’ And I turned and walked out. I’m just not into that. I like having a bit of separation from my fighters – I think there should be. You’re not their mate, you’re not their drinking buddy, you’re their coach, and sometimes you have to give them tough messages.”

 The only two things that are common between the dynamic duo are their fascination of technique and their love to explore martial arts. 

“We’re both obsessed with technique – and this will sound weird – but he might send me a video of two gorillas fighting: “Look where he’s after grabbing him! Could we do that?” So that’s where our minds are at, and those are our conversations. I certainly don’t have to chase him to work – he’s a workaholic – if anything, I’m toning him down. So we don’t row.” 

Kavanagh says he has got used to the workaholic nature of The Notorious one and has accepted him the way he is. But he also clarifies that he doesn't expect McGregor to be late for the training session, the way he has shown in press conferences.


He says that it doesn’t matter how big of a superstar McGregor is, but in his gym no one’s special, everyone is the same. And it appears as though the featherweight champ respects the coach’s code.

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