A tradition on the fight week of a Conor McGregor bout is coach John Kavanagh’s prediction of how the contest will end.
These proclamations are made on the MMA Hour, and the SBG Ireland founder once again dropped into Ariel Helwani ahead of the Floyd Mayweather match this weekend. Though Kavanagh, as any right-thinking coach will do, always backs his man to get the job done, some of his forecasts have proved very much prescient.
Take his most recent one in November of last year as McGregor faced off with then-UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.
“Round 2 they start. The shot won’t be quite as fast. The muscles won’t be quite as energetic and he’s a slippery customer to try and hold for that length of time. So I think around about the 8-minute mark. That’s when it’ll happen.”
Of course, the Irishman finished Alvarez at 3:04 of the second round, with Kavanagh’s projection just four seconds away from being spot on.
This time around, as McGregor makes his boxing debut against ‘TBE’, his coach went one better, offering two predictions, with the rationale depending on if Floyd Mayweather is a man of his word.
“One is based on him being honest, which I don’t think he is all that often, and the other is based on what I actually think will happen”, he told Ariel Helwani.
“When the two of them walk to the middle, one of them has to take a back-step. If Floyd takes a back-step, which I believe he will, then I predict round six. For the first five I think he’ll back up against the ropes and try to wear Conor down.”
The other prediction is tied to comments made by Mayweather in numerous interviews, wherein he has promised to come forward and attack McGregor, in order to ‘repay fans’ who were disappointed by his defensive showing against Manny Pacquiao in 2015.
“If he doesn’t take a back-step, and we’ll all see it, if he walks forward and exchanges, it’ll be a one round fight”, he boldly warned.
“It’ll be over in a minute. He’ll be fighting in such a way that’s not normal for him. It would be so alien to him and so normal for Conor; it’s what he’s best at. He’ll be unconscious in a minute.”
Another reason as to why Floyd may opt for the more risky strategy is tied to his apparent disregard for McGregor’s boxing credentials. This disdain, characterised by the cries of ‘joke’ and ‘money-grab’ of many, can be seen in the first UFC Embedded of the event, as Floyd chows down on some Burger King just days out from the August 26 match-up.