John Kavanagh is adamant that Conor McGregor will not be stepping in as a short-notice replacement opponent for Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in the absence of Khabib Nurmagomedov, but acknowledged that there was some conversations regarding the Irishman facing Justin Gaethje in July.
Although he insisted that McGregor would not b competing at the ever-changing UFC 249 marquee, he did admit that the idea of stepping in was something that probably appealed to McGregor.
“He always wants to step in,” Kavanagh told Ariel Helwani in an interview conducted via the ESPN MMA Instagram page.
“You know that’s his thing. I’m sure Dana [White] was getting harassed; we were all getting harassed - that’s not going to change any time.”
Despite that, the celebrated coach underlined that there is “no chance” that the Dubliner will compete at the event.
“We had a bit of fun on April Fool’s with that, but there’s no chance of that. Ireland is on a pretty strict lockdown and me and Conor have no physical interaction. There’s no physical interaction at the gym - the gym is shutdown - so to try and rush that together, I just don’t think it would be smart because he certainly isn’t fighting so that he has food for the next six months, that’s not where he is in his life.”
Kavanagh went on to acknowledge that the rumored bout between McGregor and Gaethje was “right up there” in terms of options for the former double champion’s next fight.
“That was certainly...every time there is a, “There’s going to be a fight in three months’ time,’ I think you would be shocked by some of the names that come across the table. I just kinda go at this stage, ‘Yeah, okay...you’re kickboxing who?’...at this stage there’s just so many things that come across the table. I just say, ‘Look, guys, that’s your world.’ Audie, Paradigm and Conor are so good at that, at planning, strategy and negotiating, that I just say, ‘Yeah, give me a date when it comes.’ For me, I’m just focused that are booked, that are coming up. Obviously, Pedro was the big one for the gym there recently that didn’t go ahead. He had a world title shot coming up, so my concern was with that - fights that I know are coming,” said Kavanagh.
“But yeah, [the Justin Gaethje fight in July] was one of the ones that was being talked about - that was right up there.”
For all the latest news, views and interview from the European scene, check out Eurobash.