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Henry Cejudo explains why he would never work with Conor McGregor but still offers him advice to fix what’s wrong

During his three year hiatus in retirement, Henry Cejudo quietly became one of the top coaches in MMA while working with fighters such as Jon Jones, Jiri Prochazka and even former opponent Demetrious Johnson.

Cejudo has welcomed a number of highly touted athletes to train and learn at his Arizona based gym but the door would stay closed if UFC superstar Conor McGregor ever came calling. As much as he might be interested in working with the former two-division UFC champion as he prepares for his own return to action against Michael Chandler following a devastating broken leg suffered in his last outing, Cejudo says that bridge was burned after offensive comments were made towards people close to him.

“No, [I wouldn’t coach him],” Cejudo said during UFC 288 media day. “I think he’s offended too many of my good friends.

“At first, yeah, I was kind of a Conor hater and then I became a fan like you know what, this dude he won me over. But I think he took things a little too far. With talking about Khabib [Nurmagomedov’s] father after him passing. Calling my manager [Ali Abdelaziz] a rat, a terrorist, all that. To me, I get sports, I get the entertainment side but that’s just a little too much for me.”

Once regarded as perhaps the greatest trash talker in combat sports, McGregor turned things much more personal in his rivalry with Khabib Nurmagomedov with several comments aimed at his family.

McGregor also did the same for his trilogy with Dustin Poirier after constantly mentioning his wife during pre-fight banter leading into that event.

According to Cejudo, he just couldn’t betray the relationships he’s built with people like Nurmagomedov or his manager for the sake of helping McGregor get ready for a fight.

“He’s responded to a lot of my stuff, when I do breakdowns on him,” Cejudo said. “I know he would like it but I just couldn’t. I couldn’t do that to Khabib nor Ali.”

He may never want to coach McGregor personally but Cejudo still offered him some advice after previously spending time breaking down fight footage for his YouTube channel.

Cejudo believes McGregor’s biggest detriment in recent performances where he’s amassed just a 1-3 record in his past four fights, comes down to aggression versus counter fighting.

“I’ve done a fight feedback on him — if he was smart, he’d watch it,” Cejudo said. “I think the biggest thing Conor could do is adjust his stance. He’s too heavy on that lead leg. He’s not an attacker. Conor anticipates and he counters well. Start bringing people into you. Notice when he started getting a little too aggressive, he started coming in too forward and people started understanding his bluff.

“He throws too much power and I think he needs to go back to his analogy of precision beats power. But his distance is off right now, his position is off.”

It remains to be seen if McGregor will listen as he anticipates an eventual return against Chandler later this year after the lightweights first sparred as coaches on the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter, which is due to launch on May 30.

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