UFC superstar Conor McGregor won’t go into his presumed third fight against Dustin Poirier later this year obsessed with boxing. McGregor’s longtime coach John Kavanagh revealed to BT Sport that his fighter was already in the gym working on all the adjustments “Notorious” will need to make to win his rubbermatch vs. “The Diamond”.
“We’ve already started…”, Kavanagh said.
In short, Kavanagh said Poirier’s gameplan was simple and that correcting the flaws that led to McGregor’s demise would be just as straightforward.
“(Poirier) had this plan, that he had the check hook and the calf kick, and he was just going to keep doing it and hope it would work and it did…,” Kavanagh said.
Kavanagh believes preparing McGregor to handle calf kicks in a better way will lead to a victory for McGregor in the third fight. It’s a straightforward plan.
“We have to fix that technical detail, so it’s not like having to fix everything. It’s fixing a small enough area, getting him back into the whole game, you know, not going in with a whole boxing mentality, but going in with an MMA mentality,” Kavanagh said.
Judging by his recent social media post about the subject, McGregor is already on board.
McGregor posted, “Guys I’m gonna cheque the leg kick”.
Ultimately, Kavanagh believes McGregor’s movement will be enhanced by the small changes his team is making in the gym right now.
Instead of the more heavy-footed McGregor of UFC 257, one that clearly had visions of boxing Manny Pacquiao dancing in his head, Kavanagh hopes to see the one in the cage who moves more like an MMA superstar.
“Conor was always famous for his movements, for his ability to change stances. His bounce…we got to bring all that back. It’s there. It’s under the hood. The skills don’t have to be learned or even re-learned. They just have to be reignited,” Kavanagh said.
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Timeline for Poirier vs. McGregor 3
Recently, Poirier told Joe Rogan that he hopes Poirier vs. McGregor 3 happens this summer.
Kavanagh suggested the same timeline was in play on McGregor’s side. Moreover, Kavanagh said McGregor is already training for the third fight.
“We’ve already started that process,” Kavanagh said.
Poirier vs. McGregor 3 hasn’t officially been announced yet, but most people consider the third fight a done deal.
It’s what McGregor wants, and he’s the biggest and most profitable star in the sport. Those factors mean it’s probably also what the UFC and Poirier want to do, too. After all, both the UFC and Poirier stand to make much more money with McGregor involved.
“I’m hoping we can get that rematch done this summer. I’m not exactly sure. I don’t really involve myself in the management side of things, but we want to get that one back,” Kavanagh said.
The task at hand for McGregor and his team of coaches is to be ready for the calf kicks next time.
Indeed, McGregor seemed to be having his way in the second fight until Poirier’s devastating kicks turned things around for the American early in the second round.
“We’ve got to figure out these freaking calf kicks, how to use them and defend them. But we’re pretty confident we have that sorted out now,” Kavanagh said.
Otherwise, Kavanagh gave McGregor a high grade for his performance at UFC 257.
“I think he looked excellent everywhere else, so give us a rematch…,” Kavanagh said.
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Kavanagh likened MMA to a game of spinning plates. It’s as if there were a boxing plate, a wrestling plate, a kickboxing plate, and plates for all the other disciplines, too. The MMA fighter’s job is to keep all of the plates spinning at the same time.
“We got a little bit obsessed with the boxing plate. There was talk of a big boxing match after that. Our bad. Our mistake,” Kavanagh said.
Kavanagh doesn’t expect the same thing to happen again.
You can watch the whole interview below.
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