With a handful of options on the table, John Kavanagh still leans towards a familiar face for Conor McGregor's next fight.
McGregor hasn't fought since October 2018, being submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov before an infamous post-fight scuffle stole the headlines. Since then, McGregor announced his retirement but failed to convince many, with Dana White saying that he expects Conor to fight this year. In an appearance on this week's Ariel Helwani's MMA Show, Kavanagh had the same opinion, claiming that McGregor had refound his motivation.
In the same interview, Helwani asked Kavanagh who he'd most like to see his student fight upon returning. Kavanagh was open-minded in response but one particular option remains his preference as a fan at least. "I always loved the Diaz trilogy," Kavanagh said. "I’ve kinda said that from the start. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Nate looks in the fight that’s coming up. That would just be as a fan, very exciting.
"Justin Gaethje, kinda reminds me, he has that similar style of he can take a tremendous amount of punishment and keep coming forward. Honestly, if it’s Conor excited and motivated, pushing himself hard, it doesn’t really matter all that much to me. Anybody in the UFC at the level that Conor will be fighting are good opponents. They’re different challenges."
With that being said, it's Diaz that Kavanagh picked when asked for one name in particular. "If you’re gonna put a gun to my head, it’d be the Diaz trilogy. That’d be for me."
McGregor and Diaz are currently 1-1, sharing two memorable encounters in their already iconic rivalry. At UFC 196, Diaz was the victor, entering on late-notice but scoring the upset win with a 2nd round submission. McGregor rebounded though, avenging the defeat in a five round classic and earning the majority decision verdict. Their rubber match would certainly be one of the biggest in UFC history but Diaz first takes on Anthony Pettis at UFC 241.