Conor McGregor will face Dustin Poirier in a trilogy fight at UFC 264 on 10th July. The Notorious will try his best to take retribution for his brutal loss against The Diamond at UFC 257. In addition, a win over the number one ranked lightweight fighter will put him at the top spot for the championship fight. But as we head into the fight week here is everything you need to know about McGregor’s coaches.
Since his MMA debut, The Notorious has stuck to his coaches John Kavanagh and Owen Rowen and fought all his career under their guidance. Despite being criticized by many fight pundits McGregor preferred to remain loyal to the coaches who helped him reach the pinnacle of Mixed Martial Arts.
Lets’s take a deep look at Conor McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh’s career
Conor McGregor’s head coach – John Kavanagh
Before training fighters like Makwan Amirkhani, Gunnar Nelson, and Conor McGregor, John Kavanagh used to fight in different local circuits. He took inspiration from UFC sensation Renne Gracie and decided to lay his feet in MMA. Consequently, Kavanagh became the first Irish fighter to receive a Black Belt in Jiu-Jitsu.
However, his record in MMA was very poor as he ended his career with three wins and three losses. He fought between 2000-2003 in different promotions like Cage Warriors, Ultimate Combat, and Combat Evolution. As a result, he made his transition from a fighter to a coach after his retirement.
Kavanagh founded a gym called Straight Blast Gym in 2001 and since its opening, several prominent fighters have trained in this gym. Conor McGregor is one fighter who achieved all his success in combat sports by training in this gym.
McGregor began his training at the Straight Blast Gym in 2008 under the tutelage of Kavanagh. To put things into perspective John Kavanagh works on McGregor’s Jiu-Jitsu skills. He teaches him different techniques regarding wrestling and other aspects of the fight. Moreover, the Irish coach prepares the tactics for the fights and helps him with different suggestions during his fights.
As a result, his training helped the Notorious become a two-division champion during his stint at Cage Warriors. McGregor achieved greater fame and success in UFC with the assistance of John Kavanagh. He was the first UFC fighter to become a two-division champion simultaneously.
All these achievements helped John Kavanagh earn the award for coach of the year in 2017. As a result, The Irish coach is now known as one of the best coaches in Mixed Martial Arts.
Conor McGregor’s striking coach – Owen Roddy
Owen Roddy was a professional MMA fighter with an impressive record of 11-4-0. Roddy also trained under John Kavanagh in the SBG gym and was a part of the gym for 13 years. He was lauded as one of the best Irish fighters and Irish fans had great expectations from Roddy. But Rowdy Roddy abruptly decided to take a retirement from the sport in 2012.
Consequently, he shifted to coaching and made a name for himself in the sport. He earned more success and fame in his career by coaching Conor McGregor than he did by fighting MMA for seven years.
Owen Roddy and Conor McGregor were sparring partners in 2007 before he became his striking coach. The fighter-coach duo shares a great bond as they have worked together for a long time. If John Kavanagh is the brain behind McGregor’s fighting then Rowdy Roddy helps the Notorious behind the pads. A major part of McGregor’s success should also be credited to Roddy because he has evolved the double champ into a striking genius. Due to his work behind pads, The Irishman has finished 19 out of his 27 opponents via knockout.
This list includes Superstars like Dustin Poirier, Eddie Alvarez, Jose Aldo, Donald Cerrone, and several other fighters. As a result, Conor McGregor has credited his success to Rowdy Roddy in an interview. “Owen Roddy is always in my corner. He’s been a major part of my success, anytime I need him Roddy is always there. I’ve learned so much from him.”
Therefore there is no doubt that John Kavanagh and Owen Roddy have played a major role in helping Conor McGregor become the biggest name in MMA. Regardless of McGregor’s result against Poirier in the trilogy fight on 10th July, the Irishman’s coaches have built a great legacy for themselves.