Conor McGregor's UFC return is upon us, and while mixed martial arts (MMA) fans wait for the announcement on when exactly that will be, McGregor's coach believes that when the Irishman does return he'll be more dangerous than ever in the standup game.
McGregor's last Octagon appearance took place over a year ago at UFC 205 on pay-per-view (PPV) from Madison Square Garden. He downed Eddie Alvarez in the night's main event to capture the lightweight championship of the world, becoming the UFC's first dual-weight champion in the process.
He then took the next year off from competition to seemingly enjoy the birth of his first child. Instead, McGregor signed on for a superfight inside the boxing ring with the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. Although he put on a decent showing in the bout, McGregor was defeated via 10th round TKO.
McGregor's head coach, John Kavanagh, recently spoke to The Daily Star to discuss McGregor's fighting future. Due to the months of preparation McGregor did for his fight with Mayweather, Kavanagh believes that McGregor's hands will be more dangerous than ever when he returns to the Octagon (quotes via MMA Mania):
“When would an MMA guy have a chance to take six months just to focus on one aspect of MMA?" Kavanagh said.
"Never is the answer, they’re always trying to work on everything. But when he does return to the Octagon, his hands are going to be a lot better than what they were. And I’m excited to see that.
“You know, I was rolling with him two weeks ago and I was wondering how his jiu-jitsu would be,” Kavanagh said.
“And I was very annoyed that he took my back and choked me. So he hasn’t lost too much there.
"Of course, he has to tighten up there before he goes to fight in the Octagon again. But he really does love grappling.
"Even in the lead up to the Mayweather fight, he would still kind of ask you about wrestling or jiu-jitsu, and he’d say, ‘hey, look at this’.
"I know it’s in his head all the time although he wasn’t physically training it. I know mentally he’s still thinking about it."
What are your thoughts on Kavanagh saying that he believes McGregor's striking will be better from having fought Floyd Mayweather? Do you think that he will, in fact, be better in the stand up department when he returns? Or will his boxing tenure play no factor in his Octagon return? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below!
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