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John Kavanagh Expects Conor McGregor Return In 2022, Talks Potential Fourth Poirier Fight

John Kavanagh also explains why he doesn't want to speculate on Conor McGregor's next opponent.

John Kavanagh Expects Conor McGregor Return In 2022, Talks Potential Fourth Poirier Fight

SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh thinks Conor McGregor is doing all he can to return to form in 2022.

McGregor was last seen in action back in July. He had a trilogy bout with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264. McGregor ended up suffering a broken tibia and fibula and couldn’t make it to the second stanza.

John Kavanagh On Conor McGregor’s Return

John Kavanagh doesn’t have the exact timeframe for Conor McGregor’s return fight but he told the folks at Submission Radio that the “Notorious” one wants to take over in 2022.

“He’s gonna be back on the mats now in the next couple of weeks with me. He’s doing a lot of strength training at the moment. The guy’s jacked, I think he’s coming back as a middleweight [laughs]. But he’ll be back on the mats with me now shortly and we’ll start off with combat sports training again. We’ll start with drills and I actually joked with him I said, ‘Look, I’d rather if we just start off with some techniques, some drills, let’s see how you’re going.’ And he’s like, ‘No, I’m gonna do 5-by-5, that’s what I’m going back to do.’ I’m like, ‘Oh great, we’re straight into full combat training again.’ But he’s very enthusiastic, very upbeat, very excited to attack 2022. I’m not sure when he’ll be back but he’ll be back.”

Taking Losses As Learning Experiences

When it comes to bouncing back after suffering another setback, Kavanagh said that McGregor is aware of the mentality that a loss is a learning experience.

“There’s the overriding message of combat sports and of this program is dealing with failure, dealing with losses, dealing with injuries. Having that mindset of, ‘I can never lose if I’m not gonna quit.’ It’s only when you quit that that’s when the real loss comes in. With all sports, every big card you have, 50 percent win 50 percent lose. This is something we tell all our contestants that you know we’ll have a big event, 50 fights, 60 fights at the weekend. They’ll be 60 winners and 60 people will lose on the night.”

Conor’s Next Opponent?

Kavanagh wasn’t interested in speculating McGregor’s next opponent. He’d rather see how his fighter is looking upon his return to the gym.

“I don’t really know. I just don’t really involve myself in that anymore. He’s got a hundred opponents lined up it would appear but let’s just get back training. Let’s test the leg and test everything and when the time comes I’m sure he won’t be short of choice.”

Potential Fourth Fight With Dustin Poirier

When McGregor returns, he could very well be matched up with Poirier a fourth time. Kavanagh said the best thing Conor or any of his fighters can do is simply get better than they were before a training camp.

“It’s always interesting facing the same opponent because techniques may change a little bit but the tendencies remain the same. What we’ve been working on we’ll continue working on. Obviously, you make adjustments each time and you try to improve and opponents can change. I would always say to Conor and all my guys, the goal is if you’re doing a three-month training block, at the end of the three months you can beat your former self.”

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