McGregor, easily the most financially successful fighter in MMA history, has been sitting on the sidelines since he broke his leg against Justin Poirier in 2021. Many have questioned McGregor's motivation and interest in fighting, given that he's recovered from his injury and has yet to step back in the octagon.
But for Kavanagh, head coach of SBG Ireland, there's no doubt McGregor is still game for fighting and sees the same level of hunger than when he started working with the Irishman back when he was just a teenager.
“What's his motivation at this stage? I guess you have to ask him, but it's definitely something I've wondered about,” Kavanagh told MMA Junkie. “When you've won the belt, and you've got all the money, what keeps you coming back? There's only one thing that makes sense to me. If you can tell me something else, I'd love to hear it: You just love it. You just really enjoy it.
“If you take away somebody's financial motivation for doing something, you really learn what they want to do. He didn't pick up golf. He didn't start doing fishing. He's not someone to go on six-month type holidays. Wherever he goes, there's a gym with him with his trainers and nutritionists. That's been since the leg break. Nothing has changed since then. ”
McGregor recently re-entered the USADA pool for anti-doping testing. He has yet to book a date for his return, but he's expected to fight Michael Chandler, who he coached The Ultimate Fighter with on opposing teams, should he return to the UFC.
Some have gone as far as thinking that maybe McGregor never returns to fighting, given some of his lifestyle choices shown on his social media. However, Kavanagh is confident it's just a matter of time until fans see the former UFC champion back in action.
“Just today, I sent him a message, and he sent me a message back on the mats rolling with a black belt where he is now,” Kavanagh said. “… He's training away and very hungry. I'm looking forward to the return next year, whenever that date is. I don't know where or when it is, but I am looking forward to that inevitable return.”