John Kavanagh believes Conor McGregor will rectify "cardio issue" ahead of Diaz rematch
McGregor faces Diaz in a welterweight rematch on July 907:59 Thursday 31 March 2016, 7:59 31 Mar 2016
Conor McGregor will give an "accurate reflection of his skill and ability" when he faces Nate Diaz at UFC 200, according to coach John Kavanagh.
Writing in his column for The42.ie, Kavanagh says that there will be no "cardio issue" come July 9 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and explained how the rematch materialised despite McGregor holding the crown at the 145lbs.
"When we got back to the changing room after the fight, a rematch with Diaz was already being discussed" he explains.
"A defence of Conor’s featherweight belt was also mentioned, but as the hours drifted by, the frustration of not doing himself justice began to take hold and grate.
"Conor chased this rematch. That’s how it has come about. He’s much more concerned about trying to give a perfect representation of his ability than he is about material things like belts or money. That’s just a fact. Money is certainly not a motivating factor anymore because he has already made plenty of it.
"Conor believes that the last fight didn't accurately reflect the skills and ability he possesses, so he’s eager to address that. He ended up harassing UFC president Dana White and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta on a daily basis for a rematch. This is the fight that’s of most interest to him right now."
McGregor was crowned interim featherweight champion last July. Image: John Locher / AP/Press Association Images
Kavanagh addressed the fight this month and admits a change in strategy will be required to beat Diaz.
"I doubt that any non-biased observer could look at the first round of that 5 March bout at the MGM Grand and not score it in Conor’s favour. For me, we saw the technical difference between the two fighters in that opening frame. The difference in the second round was down to cardio, and a cardio issue is much easier to rectify than a skill one.
"Going into that second round, the gameplan was straightforward: repeat what had happened in the first round… for five rounds, if necessary. However, that’s not how it ultimately played out.
"Conor’s cardio wasn’t as it should have been, but there was certainly no complacency. We didn’t train any differently for the fight. I believe it was more a case of there being a strategy error i.e. trying to stop a bigger man who’s known for having a strong chin with every single punch."
He also hailed the "learning experience" that was McGregor's first UFC defeat and says that his team either win or learn from each of their bouts.
"When you’re landing punches on any opponent, it gets tiring. There’s no two ways about that. With a strategy adjustment, the fight is going to play out in a similar manner to that first round, but this time it will continue throughout the contest. I do believe Conor is the more skilful fighter and the first round was evidence of that. But we cannot make the same mistake by trying to remove his head with every single punch.
"It was a fight that was set up on short notice and it didn’t go our way, but there are certainly no regrets about going ahead with it when turning it down would have been very understandable. The entire process has been a tremendous learning experience."
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