Conor McGregor‘s coach John Kavanagh repeated that Nate Diaz was his preferred opponent for his boxer’s return bout – although admitting that Tuesday’s bout against the Americans “gave me nightmares”.
McGregor won 7-0 at the start of the match UFC His career flourished when he broke through the featherweight division to become the champion, but the Irishman suffered his first defeat in promotion when he faced Diaz in March 2016.
Defeating Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds in December 2015, McGregor was scheduled to fight Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight title at UFC 196, but the Brazilian was unable to compete due to injury.
Diaz stepped in and fought McGregor in the welterweight division, knocking out ‘Notorious’ in the second round to the amazement of many MMA fans. McGregor overcame the Californian in the same weight class five months later, before going on to beat then-lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez to claim gold at 155lbs.
A duel with Diaz has been frequently discussed in the years since but has never materialized, although Kavanagh has repeatedly made clear his desire to see it come true.
“Honestly, the Nate Diaz trilogy is very, very engaging,” Kavanagh reiterated on Monday, saying on Time MMA.
“It was a war that gave me nightmares. The man kept moving forward, whether it was three rounds or five rounds, but it was a fascinating fight.
“So that’s definitely interesting.”
Kavanagh also mentioned Tony Ferguson as a rival he wants to see McGregor’s face.
The former interim lightweight champion has previously signed with Paradigm Sports, an agency to which McGregor belongs and in which the Irishman owns a stake.
Ferguson, 37, had a 12-match winning streak from 2013 to 2019, but the American has lost the last three.
“Also Tony Ferguson,” Kavanagh said. “It never happened. It’s been talked about a lot, and I believe Tony still has a lot to offer the game.
“He is an unorthodox striker, grappler. I think the construction will be fun for the fans. “
McGregor last fought in July, breaking his leg at the end of the first round in a threesome with Dustin Poirier.
McGregor, 33 years old, take down Poirier in featherweight in their first meeting, in 2014, but was stopped by the Americans in the second round of their rematch this January.
Following the injury he sustained during the pair’s most recent clash, McGregor is still recovering and is not expected to return to the Octagon until the summer of 2022 at the earliest.
The former doubles champion recently said he will be fit to return in April, and he shared pictures on social media this week of his current figure of 190lbs – exceeds the 156lbs light weight limit.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/ufc/conor-mcgregor-nate-diaz-john-kavanagh-b1971237.html Conor McGregor’s trainer John Kavanagh says thinking about the Nate Diaz trio ‘gives me nightmares’