John Kavanagh says Conor McGregor is not looking for a tune-up fight in his return.
McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC), who broke his leg in a TKO doctor’s stoppage loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 in July, is expected to return to the mats in the next couple of weeks according to his head coach.
The former UFC dual-champ has been in the gym lifting weights for a while now, but will be resuming his MMA training at his home base of SBG Ireland.
“He’s going to be back in the gym, he’s going to be back on the mats now in the next couple of weeks with me,” Kavanagh told Submission Radio. “He’s doing a lot of strength training at the moment. The guy is jacked. I think he’s coming back as a middleweight (laughs). But he’ll be back on the mats with me now shortly and we’ll start off with combat sports training again. And, he’s getting some, um… I always have to choose my words carefully here, but look, we’ll start with drills.”
Although Kavanagh didn’t give an exact timeline for McGregor’s return, he says “The Notorious” is looking to get right back into the swing of things.
“I actually joked with him, I said, ‘Look, I’d rather if we just start off with some techniques, some drills, let’s see how you’re going.’ And he’s like, ‘No, I’m going to do five by five, that’s what I’m coming back to do.’ And I’m like, oh, great, you know, we’re straight into full combat training again. But, he’s very enthusiastic, very upbeat, very excited to attack 2022. And I’m not sure when he’ll be back, but he’ll be back.”
McGregor recently stated that he’s planning on fighting for the UFC lightweight title in his first fight back and that he has unfinished business with Poirier, who’s up 2-1 in their trilogy series.
When asked if McGregor should take a warm-up fight before thinking about a title shot, Kavanagh said McGregor is ready for any kind of challenge.
“He’s got a hundred opponents lined up it would appear,” Kavanagh said. “But let’s just get back training, let’s test the leg and test everything, and when the time comes, I’m sure he won’t be short of choice.”
He continued, “He’s not so much about warm-up fights. He seems pretty warm to me as it is. So, what will come, will come.”
“Whoever he faces he’ll be highly motivated. It’s clear at this stage Conor has a few quid, he’s got a few dollars in the bank account. So, that’s not the motivating factor at this stage, his motivating factor is competition and to improve himself and to test himself against whoever it is.”