And while if you ask Conor himself, he’ll tell you that both the UFC welterweight belt and Jorge Masvidal’s BMF title are in his sights, it’s hard to shake the feeling that we will be seeing a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov before too long.
Of course, Khabib will have to navigate his way through his most difficult test to date when he takes on Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 but if he is, in fact, successful, word from the UFC brass seems to indicate that Khabib/McGregor II is very much on the cards.
Speaking during an appearance on Irish radio station 2FM, Kavanagh explained how proud he is of his star pupil’s commitment at this point in his career – commending McGregor for his transparency in the wake of a very turbulent time.
“It comes with the territory. Negative headlines get more clicks than positive headlines. That’s just the media game.
“He’s spoken himself about his slips and his mistakes. He’s had to pay for those outside of the sport.”
As for the future, Kavanagh seemed to be content in the knowledge that the first step in this redemptive tale has been taken by McGregor and now, on the back of his UFC 246 victory over Donald Cerrone, the future is beginning to look bright again.
“I feel we’re on a good comeback story – he had a great win in January – but yeah, like most things in life you take the good with the bad, you roll with it and try to improve, learn from mistakes and get better as a human being and an athlete as you go on.
“He had to make his mistakes very publicly and visibly. I’m proud of how he’s come through those things. He’s owned up to his mistakes. He’s trying to make himself a better person and I’m behind that.”
As things stand, very little is known about the exact return date of the Irishman and the opponent he will face but if Nurmagomedov is able to retain his title in April, chances are we’ll be seeing a rematch of the most financially successful fight in UFC history before the year is through.
With McGregor seemingly diving back into his preparations for his 2020 season – as he calls it, one would imagine that things will kick back into gear on this front in the coming weeks.
Conor has made it clear that he will be ready to step in on short-notice if either Khabib or Tony Ferguson were to pull out of the contest due to injury so as things stand, only time will tell exactly how this highly intriguing three-way rivalry will play out.