John Kavanagh dissects Conor McGregor's loss at UFC 229
Win or learn...
John Kavanagh was a guest on the popular podcast the Joe Rogan Experience where he broke down Conor MGregor's loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 on Saturday.
McGregor was ultimately outclassed by the Russian fighter and fell to a fourth round defeat via a neck-crank.
Despite his disappointment, Kavanagh enjoyed the fight and claimed to have taken a lot of lessons from the defeat.
"Obviously, hugely disappointed that we didn't get the result on the night. I still enjoyed it, I thought it was a great fight, I look forward to watching it back many times. All of Conor's fights I pull away a load of lessons that I can pass on to the next generation of guys."
"Overall I really enjoyed the fight and I'm devastated we didn't get the win."
Kavanagh revealed that they knew the fight was happening 10 weeks out from Saturday, even though the public were not made aware until eight weeks beforehand. Kavanagh however felt that Khabib was always going to McGregor's next opponent.
"He's always in the gym, but I guess it was official about 10 weeks out. But since the Eddie fight , I knew or I thought his next MMA fight would be Khabib."
When asked by Joe Rogan if anything surprised him about Khabib's performance, Kavanagh was quick to cite the huge right hand that dropped McGregor in the second round.
"The right hand in the second round was a cracker it was beautiful overhand right. It's a staple wrestler's but he generally doesn't do it, but it was a great shot."
The SBG head coach then dissected the fight round by round, highlighting what their plan was going into UFC 229.
"The goal of round one was to get out if still having energy. We didn't want to put a huge amount of effort into trying to get back up in round one. Make him pay, do our best on the way, fight as hard as we can, but if do end up on our back just try to play guard until the bell, accept it'll be a 10-9 round."
Kavanagh admitted round two was going to be much the same as round one, however Khabib tore up those plans be dominating on his way to a 10-8 round.
"For round two same plan, do as much damage, but if we end up on our back don't put a huge amount of effort in trying to get up, he's an absolute master at re-grounding people. That turned out to be a 10-8 round, he got some good shots and he landed that great right hand."
Rogan asked if their plan to win was to tire Khabib out in the first two rounds and then start landing their shots in the third, fourth and fifth, which Kavanagh admitted was exactly what they wanted to do.
"Round three things started turning in our favour. He did a lot better and keeping in the middle, defending the take downs.
"Exactly, I think at the beginning the consensus was Conor knocks him out in the first or Khabib takes over from two on. For us to win the third round was probably a bit of a surprise to people.
The Al Iaquinta fight, from round three on he wasn't able to hit any take downs. So, hoped we would have a go on round three defend the take downs and start landing our shots, and that didn't happen as well as we had hoped.
Round four, he hit another great take down, made a mistake giving up the over hook, exposed our back and that's all she wrote." He told Rogan.