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Morning Report: John Kavanagh ups the ante on Conor McGregor's two-minute stoppage prediction

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

No pressure.

With a title shot on the line, UFC featherweight contender Conor McGregor has enough to worry about when he faces veteran Dennis Siver Jan. 18 in Boston, Mass.

He hasn't exactly been shy about his predictions, claiming he'll stop Siver halfway through the first round.

"So January 18th, I feel I will stop Dennis Siver inside two minutes," McGregor said earlier this month. "I've ran through some scenarios, I cannot see him escaping the first two minutes. He is a seasoned veteran, he is a kickboxing expert, a taekwondo expert, he is my most experienced competitor that I will ever have faced. But I feel that under two minutes it will take me to dispatch him, and again it will make way for the football stadium in Ireland."

Well, make sure you're not late to the party, because McGregor's head coach and trainer John Kavanagh sees the fight going quite a bit quicker.

"I don't know, I think [McGregor's] wrong to be honest," Kavanagh told Independent.ie. "I can't see it go past a minute."

UFC president Dana White has confirmed that McGregor will be awarded a title shot with a win over Siver in Boston, but where it could take place is just as intriguing.

Kavanagh says the prospect of McGregor possibly challenging featherweight champion Jose Aldo on home soil in Ireland is neither a distraction or motivation.

"It's just fact," said Kavanagh. "This has been seen coming for a long time. In interviews you're asked, 'What do you think of your next opponent? What do you think of the next fight?' So you have to answer. Now, when fans hear the answer they go, 'Oh, he's looking past the next opponent. We're not."

Kavanagh assures his prized pupil isn't looking past Siver, despite a noticeable lack of the German being promoted ahead of the main event bout in Boston.

"You've asked the question so we give the answer, but in the gym, every day, the preparation is the same," said Kavanagh. "No matter who he ends up facing. If it's Siver, great. If he drops out and Cub Swanson steps in, great. It doesn't make a difference. The preparation is done as best as we can and then in interviews if you're asked to project where we are a year or two from now, you try to give answers.

"By no means are we in the gym kicking back with cigars and whiskey saying, 'Well, we can chill past this guy and let's focus on the Aldo fight.

***Editorial note: I'm off next week while I drive across country in a Prius with two dogs and a python. I'm told someone will be taking over so be sure to check back.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

MMA Beat. The panel discusses Jon Jones testing positive for cocaine metabolites prior to UFC 182, the aftermath of the Jones vs. Daniel Cormier fight, Donald Cerrone's quick turnaround, and much more.

Jones' CIR test. The head of the Nevada Athletic Commission says it did in fact perform the carbon isotope ratio test on Jones' samples to determine whether there was any synthetic testosterone, an anabolic steroid, in his system.

'You have to know how to say no.' UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis reflects on Jon Jones' failed test and talks about the temptations he faces as a young star.

'There's a lot of pressure.' Holly Holm 'still has a lot to prove' before thinking about a fight with Ronda Rousey.

The underdog. Nick the Tooth makes the case for Dennis Siver, the man standing between Conor McGregor and a stadium show in Ireland against Jose Aldo.

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MEDIA STEW

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Couple good free fights. Anthony Johnson vs. Antonio Rogerio NogueiraAlexander Gustafsson vs. Jimi Manuwa and Ben Henderson vs. Donald Cerrone.

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Fightography: Georges St-Pierre.

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Joe Rogan on Jiu Jitsu.

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Anthony Pettis at CES, talks Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz.

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Mark Munoz vlogs ahead of UFC 184.

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Wanderlei Silva with a nice message to the victims in Paris.

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Long watches.

Joe Rogan Experience #596 - Brian Stann

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Josh Gross podcast - GPB - Ariel Helwani, Greg Howard, "Rumble" Johnson and Greg Jackson.

...

You're Welcome with Chael Sonnen - Dominick Cruz & Josh Samman

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Team Alpha Male radio - GARBRANDT, FABER, BUCHHOLZ, and STUDBOY. "NO LOVE's UFC Virginity"

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Onnit podcast - Ian McCall

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TWEETS

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OK good.

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Excited.

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Inter-divisional help.

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Soon.

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Keep an eye out.

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Get well soon.

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Very cool.

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This Week in Struggle.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Jan. 8 2015)

Lyoto Machida vs. Luke Rockhold at UFC on FOX 15

Manny Gamburyan vs. Aljamain Sterling at UFC on FOX 15

Marlon Moraes vs. Josh Hill at WSOF 18

Antonio Carvalho vs. Chris Gruetzemacher at WSOF 18

Shane Campbell vs. Brandt Dewsbery at WSOF 18

Hakeem Dawodu vs. Tristan Johnson at WSOF 18

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Trey Bertelson.

Why Anderson Silva getting the next title shot is a bad move by the UFC

Anderson Silva is unquestionably the greatest MMA fighter of all time. While Jon Jones is nipping at his heels for the G.O.A.T. status, his own issues in and outside of the cage are holding him back from assuming the mantle. Silva's exploits inside the octagon give him carte blanche to fight against basically whomever he desires. Superfights, title shots, even a misguided bout with Roy Jones Jr. (which thankfully never came to fruition.) There are, however, situations in MMA where one guy just has another guy's number. Urijah Faber couldn't get past Mike Brown in WEC, BJ Penn could never figure out Frankie Edgar, etc.

Chris Weidman is that guy for Anderson Silva.

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Check out the rest of the post here.

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Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.