John Kavanagh questions Conor McGregor's motivation to return to the UFC

  • Jack Figg
UFC 196: McGregor v Diaz

It’s now been three weeks since Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Conor McGregor at UFC 229, and there’s still no clear indication of what’s next for ‘The Notorious’.

Nurmagomedov defeated McGregor via fourth round submission, successfully defending his UFC lightweight world title for the first time.

The fight was a record breaking occasion for the UFC with an estimated 2.4 million pay-per-views sold.

In a fight Nurmagomedov widely controlled, dropping McGregor in the second round and only losing the third session, the post-fight brawl stole the headlines.

As McGregor and Nurmagomedov were handed temporary suspensions by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), it’s unclear where either fighter goes from here.

After Nurmagomedov’s win, the Russian took no time in calling out five-weight boxing world champion, and former McGregor opponent, Floyd Mayweather, in what would be ‘Money’’s second consecutive bout with a UFC fighter.

While McGregor, a former two-weight UFC world champion, first stated in a tweet he was ‘looking forward to the rematch’, but in a lengthy Instagram post, in which he addressed his UFC 229 defeat, the 29-year-old confirmed, ‘if it is not the rematch right away, no problem.’

UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor

McGregor's coach on UFC return

With The Notorious conforming a rematch with Nurmagomedov may not be next, the Irishman’s head coach, John Kavanagh, told the Irish Independent he doesn’t know himself what’s next for McGregor, and even questioned his fighter's motivation.

"I haven't actually spoken to Conor since (the Nurmagomedov fight),” Kavanagh said.

“I can't speak for him, but I've already put my hand up for that. I think that was a mistake I made and if we get a rematch, I would change it drastically.

"A rematch? I guess it really depends on Conor. We've had a few text exchanges since the fight, but I haven't had a face-to-face with him and, when we do, that will be my conversation with him.

“I'll ask him what his motivation is. Let's hear how much he wants to do. Is it one more fight, is it five more?

"There's that old saying that it's hard to get up and go running when you're sleeping in silk pyjamas. MMA is a tough, tough sport. The training is gruelling and he has his second kid on the way, so does he still have that (drive)? I think so."

With McGregor expecting a second child, managing a growing whisky brand, and opponents ranging from all different weights gunning to meet the Irishman, what will be next for The Notorious?

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