Saturday 1 October 2016

EXCLUSIVE: Conor McGregor's coach John Kavanagh not holding his breath over title showdown with Jose Aldo

Tom Rooney

Published 05/08/2015 | 21:24

Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor
Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor

Perhaps it’s a case of once bitten, twice shy, but SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh is making no assumptions as to whether a UFC featherweight title unification bout between Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo will actually go ahead.

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Of course, the pair were slated to meet on July 11 at UFC 189 in Las Vegas, in what was being heralded as the biggest fight in featherweight history, before Aldo pulled out due to a rib injury on just 12 days’ notice.

Aldo claimed to have broken a rib during a sparring session, though many, including UFC president Dana White, doubted the severity of the injury. Luckily, the UFC had had the presence of mind to place No 1 contender Chad Mendes on standby, saving an event they had afforded unprecedented promotion.

McGregor went on to finish Mendes via TKO in the dying embers of the second round, and clinch the interim UFC featherweight crown.

During a press event for UFC 190, which was held in Rio last weekend, Aldo said he was back to training and fighting fit, however Kavanagh dare not let his thoughts venture too far ahead until the powers that be confirm a time and date for a showdown that will surely surpass all previous records held by the promotion.

Speaking at the Unilever Personal Care Summer Festival, Kavanagh insisted he doesn't care to speculate about the nature of Aldo’s initial injury.

“I try not to think about it, and take each day at a time, he said. “When we get the date of the fight, we’ll prepare for it. There’s no point in putting any energy into thinking about it; we just have to focus on our own training.

“At the end of the day, only he (Aldo) and his trainers know exactly what happened. Maybe it was all innocent because these things happen in training. People get knocks and bags, and each fighter has to make these decisions for themselves. I don’t know about that situation, but I do know Conor had some serious knocks and bangs leading up to it, but Conor would hop in there on one leg if needed.

“I’m just looking forward to getting a date. I’m a planning type of guy; I like to know how many weeks I have; how many days of training and to plan out our training. I’m looking forward to a date being confirmed.”

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