A low-key John Kavanagh spoke to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour last night about the bruising defeat of his most famous SBG charge.
Kavanagh candidly addressed what went right and wrong in Conor McGregor’s bow at welterweight against Nate Diaz. While McGregor’s skill and style most likely won him an impressive first round, the size differential and jump in weight meant that his usual mode of steamrolling opponents didn’t have the desired effect against the durable and lengthy Diaz.
Kavanagh himself didn’t view the weight jump as a contributing factor in McGregor’s loss, and attributed the failed gameplan (or lack thereof) to ineffiency.
“I don’t think the weight made a difference,” said Kavanagh.
“If it was 155 it wouldn’t have made a difference. If you’re fighting someone like that and you’re inefficient, that’s what the result is going to be. I don’t think it played a part. Nate was the better guy on the night.”
If there’s something to critique and take away from that fight, and Conor immediately said it, it’s that he was inefficient with his shots and Nate was efficient.He blew himself out slightly trying to take his head off with every left hand rather than just landing it.I’ve been with Conor a long, long time, I’ve seen him do an inordinate number of rounds in the gym and I’ve never seen him breathe heavy. I went in and he was breathing heavy and I was a bit taken aback by that.”
Regarding what lies ahead for Conor, Kavanagh says Conor has options. He can make 145 pounds and look fine the next day after weigh-ins despite the harsh cut.
“There’s a few offers there”, Kavanagh said.
“He can compete at 145, 155 and 170. It’ll be curious to see what the fans want. because it’s all for them.”
When asked for his choice, the SBG head coach opted for a rematch with a certain Brazilian.
“Me personally, Aldo rematch. The first one, obviously was great for us, but it was a little bit unfulfilling”, he admitted.
“I think Aldo has a fantastic set of skills, he was a great champion. I didn’t think that closed the chapter on that. Stylistically, I think it would be a nice fight to watch and a good challenge. It would be a great back and forth fight, for me I’d get a year’s worth of material from it for coaching from for the next twenty years.
Frankie Edgar’s great too, but Frankie lost to Aldo.”
While Kavanagh says that he stays in the background when it comes to matchmaking, it does give a first hand view into the possibilities that Team McGregor is considering.
The full interview can be seen below via MMAFighting from 1:59:36.
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