There’s one fight out there for Conor McGregor that gives the Irishman’s head coach, John Kavanagh, “nightmares,” Kavanagh said on Monday, December 6, 2021.
He spoke with Ariel Helwani on “The MMA Hour,” and the coach listed several possible opponents for McGregor’s return. Kavanagh’s fighter is currently rehabilitating a broken leg that he sustained in July 2021 during his trilogy match with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264.
And the option that terrifies Kavanagh is Nate Diaz. McGregor and Diaz have fought twice in the past, with the combatants splitting the results 1-1. Diaz is known for his elite cardio and volume punching, something that Kavanagh knows all too well.
And even though it’s a fight that keeps him up at night, the head coach would welcome it.
Kavanagh said via BJPenn.com:
I’ll be honest, the Nate Diaz trilogy is very, very tempting. It’s a fight that gives me nightmares. The man doesn’t stop coming forward. Whether it’s three rounds or five rounds. But it’s an intriguing fight. So, that one is definitely very interesting.
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Kavanagh Thinks the Lead Up to a McGregor vs. Tony Ferguson Fight Would Be ‘Fun for the Fans’
Kavanagh also pointed to Tony Ferguson as being an exciting option for “Notorious.” Although “El Cucuy” is on a three-fight skid, he’s still ranked in the lightweight division’s top 10. And he’s been challenging McGregor for years to step inside the Octagon with him.
“But also the Tony Ferguson one,” Kavanagh continued via BJPenn.com. “It never happened. It was talked about a lot. Tony still has, I believe, a lot to offer the game. He’s a very unorthodox striker, grappler. I think the build-up would be fun for the fans. So, you know, any of those kind of legacy guys.
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Kavanagh Mentioned More Potential Options for Notorious
Diaz and Ferguson aren’t the only options for McGregor’s comeback, according to Kavanagh. The Irishman’s head coach mentioned top-ranked 155 pounders Dan Hooker and Islam Makhachev as possible fights.
McGregor and Hooker have very little history, however he’s a fan favorite.
Makhachev is Khabib Nurmagomedov’s good friend and training partner. Notorious and Nurmagomedov have a bitter past and Makhachev is viewed as the next Nurmagomedov, poised to capture the lightweight belt.
Kavanagh also said that the winner of UFC 269’s 155-pound title fight between champion Charles Oliveira and No. 1-ranked contender Dustin Poirier could be an option for Notorious.
“But, look, that division is killer,” Kavanagh continued via BJPenn.com. “You know, Dan Hooker’s in there. The Islam (Makhachev) fight would be amazing as well, for obvious reasons. And we have, you know, whoever’s going to win this belt (Charles Oliveira or Dustin Poirier). So, you know, look, any of those names. I’m just excited to see Conor back.”