“I Beat The Sh*t Out Of Him” John Kavanagh On Why He Fought Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor‘s coach John Kavanagh revealed he once “beat the s**t” out of the Irish UFC superstar years before they became a world championship-winning team.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Kavanagh relayed the story where the red mist descended when McGregor dropped Irish women’s strawweight Aisling Daly during a light sparring session during one of his first sessions at Kavanagh’s Straight Blast Gym in Dublin.

Early clash: SBG head coach John Kavanagh (second from right)

McGregor had already dropped fellow SBG prospect Owen Roddy (who would later go on to be McGregor’s main pad man) in training when the incident with Daly took place.

Kavanagh picks up the story: “It sounds worse than it was.

“He wasn’t hitting her in the head or anything, but just happened to throw a body shot that hit her in the sweet spot, the solar plexus, and put her down.

Supportive of a switch: McGregor's coach John Kavanagh

“I got a little emotional because Ais had been with me a long time and the other guys would look after her.

“But this new guy had come in and put her down, and my protective nature kicked in.

“I was still fighting at that stage, or hadn’t stopped that long, so I put the gloves on – actually, he has corrected me on that and says it was bare knuckles.

Cristiano Ronaldo met John Kavanagh at Conor McGregor's training camp

“But I held him down and beat the s**t out of him, without putting too fine a point on it.

“I kept hitting him in the body until he couldn’t breathe and then I looked at him: ‘What’s it going to be? We can train or we can fight?’ And he was OK from the next day.”

Irish favourite: Aisling Daly

The pair have since gone on to become one of the most successful fighter-coach combinations in mixed martial arts, with McGregor claiming featherweight and lightweight titles under the Cage Warriors banner before making the high-profile switch to the UFC and becoming first their interim, then undisputed featherweight champion.

Now McGregor, guided by Kavanagh, will seek to make UFC history as the first athlete to hold UFC championships in two weight divisions simultaneously when he takes on undisputed UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez in the main event of UFC 205 in New York on November 12.


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Moses Marasco