Coach John Kavanagh is hoping to get his star pupil, Conor McGregor, back inside of the Octagon to prove that the combat superstar is still hungry enough to compete at the highest level.
Much has been said about McGregor’s determination and drive coming off yet another lengthy hiatus from the sport. The former UFC double champion hasn’t competed since breaking his ankle in a loss to Dustin Poirier back at UFC 264 in July 2021 and many people are wondering how “Notorious” will look in his return to action.
While McGregor spends most of his time posting social media clips from his yacht and enjoying the finer things in life, his long-time coach believes the motivation to be the best is still there.
“What’s his motivation at this stage? I guess you have to ask him, but it’s definitely something I’ve wondered about,” Kavanagh told MMA Junkie. “When you’ve won the belt, and you’ve got all the money, what keeps you coming back? There’s only one thing that makes sense to me. If you can tell me something else, I’d love to hear it: You just love it. You just really enjoy it.
“If you take away somebody’s financial motivation for doing something, you really learn what they want to do. He didn’t pick up golf. He didn’t start doing fishing. He’s not someone to go on six-month type holidays. Wherever he goes, there’s a gym with him with his trainers and nutritionists. That’s been since the leg break. Nothing has changed since then.”
As far as training goes, McGregor is reportedly getting back in fight shape. He just re-entered the United State Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) testing pool and will have at least six months to prepare for his long-awaited UFC comeback. Kavanagh is eager to work with his star pupil again and prove just how hungry McGregor is.
“Just today, I sent him a message, and he sent me a message back on the mats rolling with a black belt where he is now,” Kavanagh said. “… He’s training away and very hungry. I’m looking forward to the return next year, whenever that date is. I don’t know where or when it is, but I am looking forward to that inevitable return.”