Everyone has thrown in their two cents on who Conor McGregor should face next. However, now we’ve heard from the Irishman’s own coach, John Kavanagh, who is throwing out a name not many have since UFC 246 this past weekend (Sat. January 18, 2020).
“Justin Gaethje at 170,” Kavanagh said. “That would be my personal preference … because he’s another lightweight. Neither of them have to cut weight and the goal – I’ll be careful with my words here – the kind of vision is to get that 155-pound belt back so it’s a step towards that.”
Kavanagh was asked why he’d want to see the fight at welterweight when both McGregor and Gaethje are top contenders in the lightweight division. Coach Kavanagh said that he’d like to see the fight organized much like McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone this past weekend.
Two lightweight fighters who simply didn’t cut weight for their bout. When the lightweight title fight comes, then they can cut weight again.
“I don’t see the reason for him to cut weight unless there’s a significant – there has to be a belt on the line,” Kavanagh said. “Otherwise, why would he do it? So yeah, stay at this weight, don’t cut weight and then when the big one comes along, shed the last 15 pounds.”
Gaethje was a name that many wanted to see McGregor fight instead of “Cowboy” this past weekend. Fans speculated that Gaethje would be McGregor’s return opponent at 155 pounds. Had McGregor defeated Gaethje, there would be no argument that he’d deserve a lightweight title opportunity next.
Especially since Gaethje is currently on a three-fight win streak in which he has finished all of his opponents via first-round TKO or KO. However, the UFC opted to go with Cerrone instead, a decision that seemed to really irk Gaethje. With that being said, although Kavanagh would like to see McGregor vs. Gaethje at 170 pounds, it doesn’t sound like that’s the route the UFC will go.
The fight the majority of the MMA community seems to want to see is McGregor vs. Jorge Masvidal. However, UFC president Dana White seems intent on holding McGregor back until the conclusion of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson for the lightweight title in April, so McGregor can challenge the winner. It will be interesting to see what the Las Vegas-based MMA organization ultimately decides to do with its top star, who wants to compete again before this summer.
What do you think about Kavanagh suggesting McGregor face Gaethje at welterweight next?