A number of fans and pundits were taken aback when Kavanagh told The Mac Life that Conor McGregor knew more than his entire camp combined about fighting and that his UFC 246 camp was more about his coaches “getting out of his way”.
However, the SBG head coach has now clarified the comments, insisting that he and McGregor’s other coaches are still in charge of organizing the Irishman’s schedule and making sure he is getting the training he needs ahead of his bout with Donald Cerrone in the main event of UFC 246.
Many took exception to the following comments that were published two weeks out from the event:
“With Conor’s fighting IQ, with Conor’s understanding of the game, really, this training camp is about all of us getting out of his way,” Kavanagh told The Mac Life. “Provide him an environment where he gets different looks, different feels, and support him. Where he wants the training camp to go, with intensities, and listening to him – where he has days where he has days where he wants to push hard, and days where he wants to slow down. It’s not so much about us coaches sitting down to game plan and then filling Conor in. Conor knows more about fighting than the rest of us put together.”
Several pundits debated whether Kavanagh’s comments were a red flag at the time, but the jiu-jitsu black belt was able to shed more light on the situation during a recent media call.
“We, of course, set out the training schedule and what each day will be,” said Kavanagh, as featured on a recent episode of MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast.
“I meant more that Conor has an ability to see what shots are going to land better than me or better than anybody else I’ve ever seen. If he can see what shots are going to land and communicate that to us, then we can make sure they’re part of the pad session for example and that I can inform the sparring partners that these are some of the looks we want to see. It’s not like every Monday he sends me the seven-day schedule and says, ‘Okay, on Wednesday we’re gong to sun seven [kilometers] and on Thursday night’... it’s me and the team setting out the schedule...I meant that his fight IQ will be able to let him see things in the fight.”
BT Sport Box Office will show Conor McGregor’s return to the Octagon, exclusively live on Saturday 18th January, as he takes on Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. UFC 246 will cost just £19.95 and can be watched on BT TV, Virgin TV, Sky, online via the web or the BT Sport Box Office App.
Listen to John Kavanagh’s comments (20:00) on this week’s Eurobash UFC 246 preview.