John Kavanagh predicts an ‘early night’ for Nate Diaz against Conor McGregor
Nate Diaz can have no excuses of a short preparation period when he takes on Conor McGregor next week because every top UFC fighter should be ready to step-in when others pull out, according to John Kavanagh.
UFC president Dana White has confirmed that ‘The Notorious’ will face Diaz at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas next weekend after Rafael Dos Anjos was forced to withdraw because of a foot injury.
A number of other fighters were also in contention to take on the Dubliner, but the 30-year-old American has been given the nod.
Dos Anjos becomes the sixth opponent to withdraw from fighting McGregor in his last 12 fights and his coach John Kavanagh believes that any fighter worth their salt should be preparing in case they are called upon as a replacement.
“Even if a certain fighter is not announced as Conor’s original opponent, every guy who’s in some way in the mix to face him in the future should be staying prepared, because there’s a 50pc chance there’ll be an opening,” he wrote in his column in The 42.ie.
“If you want to fight Conor McGregor, get ready — even when someone else has got the gig.”
Kavanagh admitted that the focus is rarely on the opponent, so McGregor won’t be disrupted by another opponent and questioned other fighters who declined the opportunity to take on the all-conquering Irishman at UFC 196.
Last night White revealed that Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo both turned down the fight despite public utterances in the past that they would take on McGregor at the first opportunity.
“I seem to recall them insisting quite recently that they were willing to fight Conor “any time and any place”. Obviously they forgot to mention that 5 March in Las Vegas was an exception.”
While attentions now turn to Diaz next week, Kavanagh does not foresee any difficulties for his star fighter. The American is still “new to striking”, as demonstrated in his decision victory over Michael Johnson and predicts an “early night” in Vegas for the man currently ranked fifth in the official UFC lightweight rankings.
Kavanagh also suggests that the possibility of McGregor taking of Dos Anjos “still makes sense” in the summer.
Dos Anjos took to Twitter to post up a picture of the extent of the damage done to his foot and it is clear that the Brazilian suffered a genuine injury.
"Sorry to all my real fans and @ufc,I never cancel any fight due to injury but accidents happen #Jesus #truechampion," tweeted Dos Anjos with a picture of a rather crooked looked foot attached.
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