While there’s no doubting that team McGregor plans to regain gold, timing also plays a factor. Khabib Nurmagomedov is scheduled to put the UFC lightweight title on the line against Tony Ferguson on April 18. McGregor doesn’t want to wait for the winner and is even mulling a quick return to action in March.
Kavanagh Explains Wanting McGregor vs. Gaethje At 170
Speaking to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Kavanagh said that while his main goal is for McGregor to reclaim lightweight gold, he wouldn’t mind seeing the “Notorious” one throw down with Gaethje at welterweight (via MMAJunkie.com).
“Justin Gaethje at 170,” Kavanagh said. “That would be my personal preference … because he’s another lightweight. Neither of them have to cut weight and the goal – I’ll be careful with my words here – the kind of vision is to get that 155-pound belt back so it’s a step towards that.”
Many might be confused as to why Kavanagh would want the fight to take place at 170 pounds. The SBG Ireland coach said it boils down to how much value there is cutting weight.
“I don’t see the reason for him to cut weight unless there’s a significant – there has to be a belt on the line,” Kavanagh said. “Otherwise, why would he do it? So yeah, stay at this weight, don’t cut weight and then when the big one comes along, shed the last 15 pounds.”
McGregor is coming off a successful return to the Octagon. He scored a 40-second TKO victory over Donald Cerrone this past Saturday night (Jan. 18). This bout was contested at 170 pounds and served as the UFC 246 headliner.