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UFC 202: Conor McGregor’s Coach Says His “Reputation is at Stake” in Rematch With Nate Diaz

Kelsey Mowatt

Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor has a ton to lose, if Nate Diaz defeats him again at UFC 202, but the Irish star’s coach says his own reputation is on the line.

Since McGregor was submitted by Diaz at UFC 196 in March, there’s been no shortage of debate and discussion regarding why the latter won the bout. For some, the fight demonstrated that McGregor was in over his head against a bigger fighter, with good hands, and amazing jiu-jitsu. Others, including McGregor, argued that the featherweight champ underestimated how his power would translate competing at 170. According to this narrative, the vaunted striker will be in a much better position to win the rematch, if McGregor conserves his energy.

Strategy aside, this is a massive, massive fight for McGregor. If the brash fighter wins, then more all-star bouts at lightweight, or even welterweight, could emerge in the short term. If McGregor loses, however, then many will argue that his future is tied to 145. One would think that a second defeat to Diaz will reduce McGregor’s drawing power as well.

Well, recently the star’s coach, John Kavanagh, wrote an article for The 42. In it, the Straight Blast Gym founder reported that McGregor has had an amazing camp. Kavanagh also stated this:

“This is a very important fight for Conor, but I also feel that my own reputation as a coach is at stake. This contest can be a bit of a game-changer for us all. Some observers who are obsessed with weight classes and belts don’t see this as a very meaningful fight. They’re more interested in seeing Conor defend his featherweight belt and going after the lightweight strap too.

But for me, we’re very lucky to be in a position to have an immediate rematch. In most cases, fighters have to be patient in order to get that chance. Having an opportunity to reverse an unfavourable result under the same circumstances just a few months later provides us with a chance to show that ‘Win or Learn’ isn’t just a catchy phrase. It really is something we practice and we have done for a long time.”

August 20th is going to be one fascinating night…


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