Conor McGregor’s head coach, John Kavanagh, is unhappy his fighter was interviewed in the octagon after the UFC 264 main event.
McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) suffered a broken leg toward the end of the first round of his trilogy bout with Dustin Poirier (28-6 MMA, 20-5 UFC) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, ending the bout prematurely by TKO. It was a gruesome injury that’s since required an extensive surgery, but “The Notorious” is already talking about his comeback plans.
Emotions were running high on the night. Just minutes after McGregor crumbled to the canvas, he was interviewed by UFC commentator Joe Rogan, who sat down next to him in a corner of the octagon as the Irishman was getting a splint put around his leg.
McGregor made waves with his comments. He immediately discredited the result while talking to Rogan, then made some disparaging remarks about Poirier’s wife, Jolie, that have been met with a lot of negative backlash.
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Kavanagh, who is McGregor’s longtime head coach at SBG Ireland, is frustrated McGregor was even put in position to have to speak, and expressed as much on Sunday during a Wimp 2 Warrior Instagram Live Q&A with Laura Sanko.
“His foot is literally hanging down,” Kavanagh said. “It’s a clean fracture on the fibula and tibia. It went straight through. It’s hanging down. You can only imagine the rush of hormones and what’s going to be going through your body at that moment. The pain – it was on fire. Then someone bends down and sticks a microphone in your face: ‘How are you feeling right now?’ It’s like, guys – come on.
“When has he never not been gracious at the end? Let’s get backstage, let’s get a proper assessment by a doctor and let’s get an X-ray. Let’s say I was pretty miffed at that idea of shoving a microphone in someone’s face at that stage. Let’s gather ourselves.”
It doesn’t seem McGregor has any regrets over the way his post-fight unfolded. He’s largely doubled down in the aftermath of UFC 264, claiming post-surgery that Poirier was on the verge of being defeated before injury ended the fight.
Kavanagh agrees, and thinks McGregor was performing well before it came crashing down.
“It was going fantastic,” Kavanagh said. “I thought he looked really, really good in there. … I wasn’t concerned at all. I was actually really, really happy. … At the 4:30 mark or even the 4:45 mark (of Round 1), everything is gravy. I thought energy looked good, technique looked good. A few adjustments in between rounds, and I thought Round 2 we were well on track to getting a finish there, or keep the rhythm going for the rest of the fight.”