Now having two opportunities to prepare for Jose Aldo, Conor McGregor and his head trainer John Kavanagh are as ready as ever.
Even more so, Kavanagh says, considering what injuries McGregor would have brought into the fight with Aldo at UFC 189 — injuries he ultimately carried inside the Octagon against Chad Mendes once Aldo pulled out due to injury.
“July, as was well known, as was well documented, it was a very restricted Conor that would have been going into that contest,” Kavanagh said Monday on The MMA Hour. “I’m not too sure what exactly the approach would have been because he had very limited movement available.”
As McGregor revealed in the months following his victory over Mendes, the now interim featherweight champion claimed he had an “80 percent torn ACL” while preparing for the main event at UFC 189. A fighter dedicated to his fluidity inside the cage, the injury obviously played a factor on what he was and wasn’t able to do.
All that in mind, Kavanagh says Aldo’s chances of defeating Conor would have been greater had they met on the originally scheduled date.
“I think it would have been a closer contest in July, but I still could only picture one winner,” Kavanagh said.
Five months following the original date, Aldo and McGregor finally meet to unify the featherweight titles at UFC 194, capping off a three-event week for the UFC. Also featured at UFC 194 is a co-headlining matchup between middleweight champion Chris Weidman and No. 1 contender Luke Rockhold.