Has Conor McGregor Split with Head Coach John Kavanagh?
If you’ve ever been to r/MMA on Reddit, you know it’s a pretty wild place. A lot of highlights and throwbacks, “shitposts”, breaking news, some Chael Sonnen worship (which is why I like it if we’re being honest), and every once in awhile… some pretty interesting MMA conspiracies.
I was catching up on my MMA news how I always do, browsing the aforementioned subreddit, when I ran across something that came as a bit of a surprise: a theory that Conor McGregor and his head coach at SBG Ireland, John Kavanagh, have quietly gone their separate ways. It’s not a CRAZY idea on it’s surface, fighters change camps all the time, but Conor is a notoriously (wink, nudge) loyal guy. Sticking with the same crew that got him to where he is now has been a topic Conor has always been pretty open about… but the I read Reddit user u/adnanthekiller’s breakdown, and… well let’s just go through point by point…
They havent’ spoken since the khabib fight
this seems to be very strange. The biggest fight in ufc history and conor didn’t speak to his coach afterwards. Not in the changing rooms. I find this bizarre. A coach and fighter are a team, I could never imagine gsp not speaking to zahavi after a fight or aldo not speaking to his coaches after being beaten by conor.
If you read the article attached by u/adnanthekiller, you’ll see Kavanagh told Ariel Helwani that this lack of communication was "Not hugely unusual... not massively.” It’s of course a little strange that the two hadn’t talked as of four months ago, but given Conor’s current workload outside of the cage, it’s not entirely convincing that it should be cause for concern.
2. John said he would need to be convinced to coach conor again
Shortly after the above, JK said he would need to be convinced to corner Conor again.
John is a quiet and simple man and doesn’t engage in the trash talking that conor thrives on. It was felt by many that he disapproved of conor’s carry on outside the cage – legal troubles, borderline racist comments towards khabib and his religion, conor’s criminal friends.
My own feeling is this is a subtle way of ending the coach-fighter relationship, by saying in public he feels connor no longer needs to fight.
I feel like it’s my duty to call out that he has suddenly started spelling “Conor” with an extra N. C’mon people, we as a fanbase are better than this by now. That whole first paragraph is kinda nonsensical, I guess. Anyways, this is another pretty unconvincing point once you read the linked article, where Kavanagh essentially says he doesn’t want McGregor fighting just for the sake of fighting. He says he’d be willing to coach Conor through another Diaz or Khabib fight, but anything outside of that would take some convincing that the juice was worth the squeeze for someone in Conor’s position.
Connor was unhappy with the gameplan
Now this point is.. also bad. A quick glance at the caption in the attached Instagram post is enough to see Conor is pretty much putting the blame on himself. He doesn’t even mention another name.
4. John’s Cryptic Tweet
this seems even more poignant given the above post by Conor. Conor ‘doesn’t’ know who he is. Conor is a striker, not an offensive grappler, and him and john' have clear differences in their view of how he fought Khabib and the gameplan.
Now this one is interesting. Kavanagh’s tweet reads “If after some length of time you're just not even comfortable being who you are...man...I just don't even know what to tell you. But hey, good luck...it's a crazy journey.” So that’s either a key point in this theory, or a basic bitch tweet you’d see your cousin make.
5. McGregor Sampling Different Training Partners
For the last few months in Ireland , connor has been training at SBG Naas. This is a 30 minute drive from the main SBG gym in Dublin. However, John Kavanagh does not coach at SBG Naas. It is ran by Bellator fighter Peter Queally.
Now we have seen on Instagram the last month, conor has been int the States with his family and trying out different gyms. My impression is he is testing out gyms and areas to live with his partner.
Ok sure, but if we are looking at this from a more reasonable point of view.. the Naas gym is probably closer to or an easier commute from wherever Conor lives now. He’s not in camp, so he isn’t training with Kavanagh. That part isn’t rocket science, and the second part is just as simple. He’s more than likely either training at whatever gym is convenient while traveling on business or on vacation, or traveling around to different gyms and expanding his fight IQ.
In closing, I guess I pretty much think this theory is just a bit of over-analyzing. Is it possible? Sure. But both guys are pretty outspoken and it feels like one or the other would’ve outright said it if it happened to be true. What’s the easiest way to put this to bed? Let’s make that Cowboy vs Conor fight official and see who makes the walk with Conor to the octagon.