John Kavanagh believes Conor McGregor has already made the necessary adjustments to ensure victory in the rubber match with Dustin Poirier.
As fight fans await confirmation of Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor III, John Kavanagh insisted that ‘The Notorious’ has worked out how to defend the calf kicks that proved to be so decisive at UFC 257 in January.
McGregor’s right leg was battered several times by Poirier before the American claimed revenge from his 2014 knockout defeat by stopping McGregor in the second round.
Kavanagh and McGregor prioritised the need to work out how to deal with the calf kick when they returned to training after January’s loss and the pair are confident that that particular strike won’t play as large a role in the third and likely final bout against Poirier.
“He is just looking forward, I’m hoping we can get that rematch done in the summer,” Kavanagh told BT Sport. “I’m not exactly sure, I don’t involve myself in the management side of things.
🦵 Calf kicks
🥊 Focusing too much on boxing
3️⃣ The Trilogy@John_Kavanagh gives us the latest on The Notorious and looks ahead to a potential third fight with The Diamond… pic.twitter.com/h1XAnUP3df
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) March 9, 2021
“We want to get that one back, got to figure out these fricking calf kicks, how to use them and defend them. We’re pretty confident we have that sorted out now. He looked excellent everywhere else. Give us a rematch, and we have the rematch, I feel.”
Poirier recently cast doubt on McGregor’s ability to adapt to the calf kicks in such a short period of time, while ‘The Diamond’ also admitted that he found it easier to prepare for his rematch with the Irishman with no trash talk or mind games in the build-up.
Kavanagh acknowledged that the different atmosphere on Fight Island may well have played a part in how the fight played out but the Straight Blast Gym head coach doesn’t think it affected the result.
According to Kavanagh, McGregor will be less focused on boxing and will return to the Octagon against Poirier with an all-encompassing mixed martial arts mindset.
“It definitely has an effect,” Kavanagh said of the fact that UFC 257 had so few fans in attendance. “Would it have had enough of an effect to change that fight? I don’t think so. Fair play to Dustin and Mike [Brown] and the guys.
Dustin Poirier got it done!
The Diamond levelled the rivalry in spectacular fashion at #UFC257 💎
Conor McGregor loses by KO for the first time in his career! pic.twitter.com/5CWFIVlUUn
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) January 27, 2021
“Even when he was getting clocked, he got hit a couple of times hard but he still didn’t start getting into a trading war or try and gas himself out trying for takedowns. He had this plan, that he had the check hook and they had had the calf kick and they were just going to keep doing it and hope it would work, and it did.
“I don’t think any amount of pre-fight shenanigans would’ve changed that or any interview requests or any screaming fans.
“We have to fix that technical detail, which it’s not like having to fix everything, it’s fixing a small enough area. Get that back into the whole game, not going in with a sort of with a boxing mentality, going in with an MMA mentality.
“Conor was always famous for his movement, his ability to change stances, his bounce as he would say. We’ve got to bring that back. It’s there, it’s under the hood, it’s not skills that have to be learned or relearned, they just have to be re-ignited.
“We have already started that process. So, wouldn’t it be great to do it again in the summer, maybe in Vegas in front of 20,000 screaming people if we can get the world back open again?”