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MMA News: Conor McGregor's Coach recalls how they first met

Adithya Pai
268   //    19 Oct 2016, 12:06 IST
The Dynamic Duo!

The success behind every fighter is a great coach who stands behind them as a wall of support.

Angelo Dundee taught Muhammad Ali to box, Freddie Roach stood by Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Sr imparted his best defensive skills to his son Floyd Mayweather Jr, but in the world of MMA, the bond between Conor McGregor and his coach John Kavanagh is something only some fighters dream of.

Now after years of coaching McGregor John Kavanagh narrates his first encounter with The Notorious one.

The Notorious devil had already been built in McGregor’s mind, as he took on one of the best prospects of Kavanagh’s stable, Owen Roddy. McGregor didn’t waste any time and tried to overpower the much more experienced fighter. 

“Owen had been with me a long time — he was my boy — but this new kid moved in a certain way,” Kavanagh told the Irish Independent.

According to, here’s what the Irishman had to say:

“He was a southpaw, a good boxer and he just had a way about him that made you go: ‘What’s going to happen here?’ And he caught Owen with a good shot and put him down.”

But McGregor was not done yet with the coach’s students. He quickly turned to future UFC strawweight fighter, Aisling Daly. The future world champion and the future UFC’s strawweight woman prospects had no time for gender differentiation and hit the ring. 

McGregor hit Daly with a perfect body shot that brought her to the floor. 

“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,” Kavanagh said.

The Irish Grand Master of MMA wasn’t too pleased with McGregor’s actions so he took it upon himself to teach him a lesson but inside the cage.

“I got a little emotional because Ash 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.”

Kavanagh didn’t hesitate to get in the cage one more time with the young hot-head boy. “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,” he said.

“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.”

The collision between the two is now something impossible to imagine, but that seemed to have given birth to one of the greatest coach-student bonds we have ever witnessed on the planet.

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