MMA

John Kavanagh Gives Realistic Take On McGregor's Prospects Vs Tyron Woodley

John Kavanagh Gives Realistic Take On McGregor's Prospects Vs Tyron Woodley

He was happy to admit it wouldn't be his first choice, but John Kavanagh refused to rule out Conor McGregor vs Tyron Woodley for the UFC welterweight championship.

The SBG Ireland head coach told Ariel Helwani on a recent episode of The MMA Hour that, despite many critics suggesting McGregor would be butchered by the physically larger man, he doesn't feel the welterweight champion would have it all his own way against the former featherweight and current lightweight kingpin.

McGregor and Woodley exchanged harsh words backstage ahead of UFC 205 in New York, with the Dubliner later laughing off suggestions that Woodley wanted to fight him (telling reporters "Of course he does"), but not ruling out a return to 170 pounds.

Since then, talk has persisted that 'The Notorious' may attempt to become a three-weight world champion, and though Kavanagh says he'd prefer another fight with Nate Diaz, McGregor's coach has mulled over the idea of Conor vs Woodley.

Asked if the fight could happen, Kavanagh told Helwani:

I don't see why not. I don't know. Maybe it won't happen. We've got so many irons in the fire at this stage.

But I don't see what other people are saying, ‘There's no way Conor can touch this guy.' There is. No one is perfect. There's openings there.

Of course, he's a bigger man, he's got more power and you've gotta be super careful. But Conor trains with big guys like this. I see him do amazing things in the gym all the time.

Woodley cuts from 200lbs down to 170 to make welterweight, and carries around considerably more mass than McGregor, who has fought at 170 twice - going to hell and back with Nate Diaz earlier this year.

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And while size would obviously be an issue, Kavanagh doesn't see it as insurmountable should the fight ever take place:

He's not enormous. He's not some Goliath man. He's a little bit bigger. Conor would have reach on him, he would have technique on him in the striking, for sure. He'd have to of course deal with that power...

I certainly don't in my head go, ‘Oh my God, no. We couldn't possibly beat him.' It's a doable fight.

In any case, it's unlikely that we'll see it before May of next year, with McGregor tentatively scheduled to take a break from the sport while his partner is pregnant with their first child. Indeed, it's unlikely the fight is made at all, barring some sort of intervention by both fighters.

But then, who would have seen McGregor vs Diaz at 170lbs when the Irishman was featherweight champion? Stranger things have happened this year alone.

[MMAFighting]

SEE ALSO: Watch: McGregor And Tyron Woodley Square Off Backstage After Chair-Throwing Comments

Gavan Casey
Article written by
Former handwriting champion. Was violently bitten by a pelican at Fota Wildlife Park in 2001.

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