John Kavanagh gives update on Conor McGregor fighting Tony Ferguson at UFC 249
Conor McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh has ruled out a short-notice fight with Tony Ferguson. Throughout the build-up to his comeback fight against Donald Cerrone, McGregor made it known that he was willing to step in on short notice and replace either Ferguson or Khabib Nurmagomedov should one of them be forced to withdraw from their lightweight title fight at UFC 249.
The Irishman insisted he’d stay ready due to the cursed history of the most-anticipated fight in the UFC’s lightweight division, which has fallen through a staggering four times.
Nurmagomedov’s showdown with Ferguson, which has been nearly five years in the making, was thrown into further doubt on Wednesday night when the defending lightweight champion hinted on Instagram that he’d be withdrawing from the contest due to being in lockdown in Russia.
The Dagestani’s apparent withdrawal from the promotion’s fourth pay-per-view card of the year led many to wonder if McGregor would opt to replace his bitter rival.
That belief was driven in part by a series of teasing hints Kavanagh dropped throughout the week.
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No chance of that
John Kavanagh on Conor McGregor potentially fighting Tony Ferguson at UFC 249
The SBG Ireland head coach was asked about the possibility of a short-notice fight with Ferguson coming to fruition during an Instagram Live Broadcast with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.
And he was quick to shoot down the prospect of ‘The Notorious’ throwing down with his former Paradigm Sports stablemate.
“No chance of that,” the Straight Blast Gym coach told ESPN. “Ireland is on a pretty strict lockdown [due to coronavirus].
“Me and Conor have no physical interactions. There’s no physical interaction at the gym. Gyms are shut down.
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“To try and rush that together, I just don’t think it would be smart.
“He certainly isn’t fighting so that he has food for the next six months. That’s not where he is in his life.”
Kavanagh’s latest comments on his most famous student came a little over 24 hours after Ireland’s first UFC champion insisted he’s ready to return to the Octagon.
“I am in shape to fight right now!” McGregor tweeted..
“At the beginning of all this, I said to myself – I’m happy I don’t have an official fight booked.
“If I did, I would have consumed all the incorrect data to support me taking part in the bout, and I would have followed through, competed. And won.”
McGregor, 31, is hoping to return to his active ways in 2020, setting his sights on two more Octagon appearances this year.
Preliminary talks over a summer showdown with the in-form Justin Gaethje have already taken place, although they’re understood to have not progressed past the exploratory phase
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