Conor McGregor owes most of his success in the world of combat sports to his coach, John Kavanagh. The pair have been working together since 2007, and Kavanagh has seen Conor’s best and worst moments. He guided him to the top of the Featherweight division, before helping him become the first simultaneous two-division champion in the UFC. He also coached him for the Floyd Mayweather boxing extravaganza.
Their relationship suffered after Conor lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov, but the two have made amends. However, Kavanagh’s impact is not only on Conor. He is a coach to many and runs his own MMA Gym. It is considered to be the biggest MMA gym in Ireland and is called ‘Straight Blast Gym’ or SBG.
Due to the second-wave of the COVID pandemic in Europe, countries are planning to reimpose lockdowns. Ireland has become the first nation to announce this step, which means Kavanagh will be directly impacted. His gym will be shut down during this next lockdown.
Kavanagh won’t be able to train out of his gym but will have to do something if Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier end up fighting in early 2021. It is unlikely that Conor prepares for that fight without the man that has prepared him for almost every fight of his life.
Kavanagh has been the man whispering in Conor’s ear since he became a fighter. While Conor’s success meant that he would eventually become his own man, Kavanagh’s influence on Conor’s success is often understated. He didn’t just train Conor but was also a mentor for the then young fighter.
Their bond suffered after Conor’s success, as Conor started fighting less often and Kavanagh continued coaching newer fighters at his gym. But they are closer than ever now, and Kavanagh is still the biggest influence on Conor’s fighting. They will link up soon enough to prepare for the Poirier fight.
While the gym being closed will be a slight hitch, a person with the kind of resources that Conor has can arrange plenty of alternatives. However, not all fighters can escape situations like this, so the gym shutdown will hurt quite a few people.
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