John Kavanagh reveals whether he thinks McGregor will return to featherweight
Conor McGregor is officially slated to take on Nate Diaz at UFC 202 in August in a rematch of their UFC 196 bout that saw Diaz walk away victorious. The fight will yet again be contested at welterweight, which has only served to amplify the chatter that McGregor has no plans of returning to the 145-pound division any time soon.
McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, explained that he and "Notorious" have been keeping a close eye on the featherweight division and that what happens next will depend on how the next couple months play out.
Former featherweight champion Jose Aldo and challenger Frankie Edgar are set to battle for the interim belt at UFC 200 in July, with the winner expected to face McGregor next in a title unification bout.
"I hope Aldo is fully recovered from the bad knockout. I thought (Chad) Mendes went back in there really quick after the knockout against Conor," Kavanagh said. "People don’t realize the damage it does — it takes a long time to recover, and I think Mendes went down quicker in that fight because of that. Maybe if he’d let himself rest a bit more he might have had more fight for Edgar. I hope that’s not the case for Aldo, (I hope) we get to see a solid version of Aldo and a new kind of improved Edgar, and see what different from the first fight. So yea, let’s see that, and assess after the rematch. It’s kind of those two names and (Max) Holloway kind of in the mix, so it’s an interesting time."
Aldo and Edgar are obvious choices since they are currently ranked No. 1 and 2, respectively, behind McGregor. But Kavanagh went out of his way to point out how impressed he’s been with Holloway, the third-ranked featherweight.
Holloway has won nine straight fights since his 2013 loss to McGregor, finishing the likes of Charles Oliveira and Cub Swanson along the way. As it stands, he’s the only fighter to go the distance with McGregor.
"I thought Holloway looked fantastic the other night [at UFC 199]. I’ve said it ever since Conor fought Max, I had him as the second best 145er in the division," Kavanagh said. "I think he’s the best of them all. That’s just my own personal opinion. And he looked very, very good against Lamas — I was actually surprised he didn’t stop him, but Lamas is a tough guy, so, it went the distance. Holloway really stood out in that fight for me."