Over the weekend, John Kavanagh, head coach of former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor, suggested that his star pupil’s next fight would be against current 155-pound champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. So confident was Kavanagh that he said he’d be willing to bet “almost anything” that the lightweight superfight happens before the end of the year. But if he had his druthers, Nurmagomedov wouldn’t be the next fight up for “Notorious.”
“Nate Diaz is my favorite fight, by the way,” Kavanagh said. “If I could pick a fight for the next one it would be that trilogy. I realize it’s not the fan-favorite. The fan favorite, without a close second, is the Khabib fight, but for me, it’s the Nate Diaz rematch and I think the Khabib fight is a lot more straight forward.”
Diaz and McGregor had a pair of bouts in 2016 that elevated the sport to new heights, breaking pay-per-view records and make both fighters household names. Diaz became the first man to defeat McGregor in the UFC, submitting him as a short-notice replacement. In the rematch, McGregor again struggled with the bigger fighter, winning a tightly contested majority decision. For Kavanagh, overcoming those difficulties and the stylistic challenges Diaz presents are a more intriguing fight for McGregor than, Kavanagh implies, “walking through” Nurmagomedov and winning back the lightweight title he was stripped of.
”For me, he had already lost to him, it’s a bigger guy, Conor’s skill set is shutting people’s consciousness off and he’s impossible – a freaking Homer Simpson head, he just keeps moving forward,” Kavanagh said. “Conor’s bravery in [the fight], I’ve seen Conor fight a lot of people that he’s able to walk through and that’s great, it’s fun and you raise a belt, but it doesn’t it doesn’t really excite me that much, not really. But that fight, if you’d been around him, by the time he’d got backstage [after losing the first Diaz fight], we were watching that night, and then the next morning he was not off the phone until Lorenzo and Dana said that would be his next fight.”
McGregor and Diaz have both been absent from the cage since 2016 but that hasn’t stopped both from getting in to dust-ups outside of it. McGregor is currently negotiating a plea deal for attacking a UFC media bus in relation to UFC 223 and Diaz was allegedly involved in a brawl at a Sacramento jiu-jitsu competition over the weekend. Perhaps both of them can put their energies to better use and settle their rivalry once and for all.
DWTNCS. Antonina Shevchenko joins sister Valentina in UFC after TKO win on DWTNCS.
Streaming. Bellator announces broadcast deal with streaming service DAZN.
Grand Prix! Bellator targeting welterweight grand prix for September.
4match. Rampage Jackson wants to beat Wanderlei Silva into retirement: ‘F*ck him.’
Dana announcing the contract winners from last night.
Ali being Ali.
Chael on Conor-Khabib.
The latest from Emil Meek’s video series.
This was a truly enjoyable series of videos behind the scenes of Khabib’s life at home.
Believe You Me. Discussing UFC Singapore, the latest Jones-DC beef, and Covington.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Tony’s knee looking alright.
Back on the grind.
Cejudo making a point about DJ not promoting a fight.
MMA beef in 2018 is weird.
I want my shot at Light Heavyweight— Rashad Coulter UFC (@rashad_coulter) June 25, 2018
So happy for my sister !!!!— Valentina Shevchenko (@BulletValentina) June 27, 2018
First ever sisters in @ufc History !!! Congratulations @AntoninaPantera with so beautiful victory and getting UFC contract !!!! #muaythaisisters #ufc #TeamBullet pic.twitter.com/OYb6bcS7Gm
Sam Alvey with big things in the works.
Sorry bro, i talked to you at the event though things are cooking on my end— Sam Alvey (@smilensam) June 25, 2018
What’s cooking on your end?— Anthony Smith (@lionheartsmith) June 26, 2018
I don’t mean to be an ass here but I know you had a fight offer come across your desk...am I wrong? I just wanna fight. What’s the hold up dude?— Anthony Smith (@lionheartsmith) June 26, 2018
I’m cooking/working on adopting a child from Africa and fostering children in California my friend.— Sam Alvey (@smilensam) June 27, 2018
Fair enough— Anthony Smith (@lionheartsmith) June 27, 2018
I love the fight and whoever you get I’ll be rooting for you— Sam Alvey (@smilensam) June 27, 2018
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2015: Yoel Romero knocked out Lyoto Machida at UFC Fight Night 70.
Signing Lyoto for the rumored amount may be a tad overzealous but Bellator is really making some big moves lately. Leaning into the Grand Prix thing is awesome and Mousasi-Rory is an incredible fight between arguably the best 170 and 185 pounders in the world. Gotta respect the hustle.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
Will Conor and Nate ever settle their trilogy?
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