‘We Got Obsessed With the Boxing Plate’- Coach John Kavanagh Gives Honest Reasons Behind Conor McGregor’s Loss to Dustin Poirier

Published 03/10/2021, 10:15 AM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 23: Conor McGregor of Ireland prepares to fight Dustin Poirier in a lightweight fight during the UFC 257 event inside Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 23, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


SBG Ireland’s Head Coach John Kavanagh sat down with BT Sport and went in on Conor McGregor’s UFC 257 fight. Chiefly, he reflected on the defeat that came at the hands of Dustin Poirier in the grudge match. ‘The Diamond’ handed McGregor his first loss in MMA after putting forth a comprehensive game plan into motion.

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Conor McGregor suffered catastrophic damage to his calf after a series of kicks put him out of commission. Moreover, Poirier’s striking was on point and he was able to send the Irishman slumping over the canvas.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 23: Dustin Poirier reacts after his knockout victory over Conor McGregor of Ireland in a lightweight fight during the UFC 257 event inside Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 23, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Conor had plenty to take away from his defeat and he’ll want to run things back in a rubber match. There have been talks for a potential trilogy fight in the Summer. However, there’s no real clarity about whether the bout will have a belt on the line.

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Conor McGregor’s coach opens up on distractions pre-UFC 257

Prior to the bout, Conor McGregor was talking about a potential boxing mega fight against Manny Pacquiao. This isn’t such a farfetched idea, considering that ‘The Notorious’ has already boxed Floyd Mayweather. Chiefly, Kavanagh was asked to chime in on how such distractions could have played a hand in his loss.

“I describe it as a game of spinning plates, that you’re spinning the boxing plate and you realize the wrestling plate is about to stop. Then you have to spin the jiu-jitsu one, you got to spin the kickboxing one and we got a little bit obsessed with the boxing plate.”

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 23: Conor McGregor of Ireland reacts after his TKO loss to Dustin Poirier in a lightweight fight during the UFC 257 event inside Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 23, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

“There was talk of a big boxing fight after that, our bad, our mistake, our fault. No blame, we just have to make sure we keep spinning the kickboxing plate and all the other aspects of MMA and get ready for a rematch.”

It’s unclear how much of a factor a potential bout with Manny Pacquiao could have played in to disrupt Conor’s focus. However, it was clear his boxing-heavy fight stance certainly made things easier for Poirier to land kicks. It seems like the heavy emphasis on boxing took a toll on shaping Conor’s ideal style for an MMA match.

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Darryl Pinto

1607 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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