Conor McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh thinks UFC keeping McGregor off New York debut would be “going too far”

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor (Photo credit Mark J. Rebilas © USA Today)

Conor McGregor has been taken off UFC 200, and according to Dana White he’s going to remain off the card. While it’s not a great situation for McGregor and his team, what could be worse is White’s comments that McGregor also wouldn’t be a part of the UFC’s debut in New York City at Madison Square Garden.

That event was one in which McGregor wanted to take part, and his coach John Kavanagh this week argued against keeping him off the card.

“That was hard to hear,” Kavanagh said in an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “I really think that’s going too far. [McGregor] was bold, but it wasn’t anything that bad. If we get the slap on the wrist for 200, we definitely can’t be put on the naughty [list] for New York.

“As an Irish guy in New York, the first card in Madison Square Garden, I think Conor would show up anyway and fight someone in a changing room if [White] doesn’t put him on the card. We have to be put on the New York card.”

According to White, the plan is to have McGregor defend the Featherweight Title against the Jose Aldo-Frankie Edgar winner at either UFC 201, UFC 202, or UFC 203.

Penick’s Analysis: They’re blowing up their plans to make it clear they’re in control, but to keep McGregor of both of their supposed biggest events of the year makes them not the biggest events of the year. Whenever McGregor does wind up fighting again, and whomever it’s against, that will be the next biggest fight of the year. Are things irreparably damaged? Probably not, but they’re certainly going to be changed forever. What that new dynamic will be once McGregor decides to return and they decide to let him is anyone’s guess, but it will be a story everyone will be intrigued to follow.

[Photo (c) Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today Sports]

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2 Comments on Conor McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh thinks UFC keeping McGregor off New York debut would be “going too far”

  1. I was fine with the UFC taking McGregor off the 200 card as it being a potentially smart, long-term decision. At this point however, statement made. Keeping him off the Madison Square Garden card just to be vindictive is damaging and serves no purpose.

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