Conor McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh spoke recently with Siobhan O’Connor for The Irish Mirror and predicted when Notorious is done with fighting, we won’t hear from him anymore. Kavanagh also revealed that McGregor is the most self-critical fighter he has ever worked with. For example, McGregor wrote a long list of all the things he did wrong, after knocking out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds.
“Like any sport there’s a sell by date,” said Kavanagh. “But Conor is 28, he’s a baby in the sport. I look at Bernard Hopkins who’s 50, winning world title fights so Conor isn’t going anywhere soon.
“I predict once he’s done in the sport he will disappear. People think he likes the limelight, he doesn’t. He just likes fighting and promoting fights. Who knows maybe he’ll go to Hollywood and become the next Schwarzenegger.”
“When I meet someone in sport or business I’m always interested to find out, how did they get over their biggest loss? I’ve had plenty of losses and failures but it’s about what you do with them. You don’t see a loss or a failure as a reason to quit you see it as an opportunity to learn.
“Conor and I have done that since day one. We’ve had plenty of losses in the cage but we use them to improve ourselves, come back and have plenty of wins too. Certainly at the beginning if Conor had a loss he would treat it as a reason to quit and I’d have to drag him down from his house.
“But that doesn’t happen anymore. You see him at his last loss, as soon as the fight was over he was analyzing what he did wrong. He was humble in defeat. We got back in the gym, got ourselves a four- month plan and showed the world what we can do with a loss. If I have a fighter and after a win they go on a bender for four-and-a-half weeks, I forget about them. They’re wasting my time.”
“I always use this story that when Conor beat Aldo to unify the 145 level, he argues it was an 11-second fight but it was 13 seconds on the record book, one punch and it was over. But he’s the most self-critical fighter I’ve ever met, and that night we went out for a bit and when we came home he wrote me an essay on everything he’d done wrong. It was only a 13-second fight.”
The coach also discussed the danger of MMA, which has been on the Irish public’s mind since the death of Joao Carvalho last year.
“When people talk about the dangers of MMA and compare it to boxing, well you know what sport’s a lot more dangerous than MMA or boxing or rugby? No sport,” said Kavanagh.
“We have a bigger problem of obesity for our next generation affecting thousands of people. Yes, at a higher level like in rugby there’s a lot of dangers that go with the sport, but it’s a hell of a lot more dangerous doing nothing.”
The SBGi founder also talked about MMA training and conditioning.
“The types of training I incorporate in MMA are about technicality and functionality,” he said. “Think big exercises that involve the whole body that help improve overall flexibility, strength, and endurance.
“People think MMA training only focuses on martial arts or boxing and it does, but I also encourage more unorthodox training like yoga, even dance classes, which take a more playful approach to exercise,
giving the body a break and apply a more playful element into your workout.
“People think we only train fighters here, there are 850 people in this gym, there are 50 doing it at a very high level, the others are just regular mums and dads.”