If there was one benefit Conor McGregor gained for his return to the UFC after spending months training for a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather it’s that his hands might be even better than before.
McGregor, who has earned a knockout in seven of his nine wins inside the Octagon, gave up mixed martial arts training to concentrate solely on his boxing to get ready for Mayweather.
As he prepares for his return to the UFC in 2018, McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh says that the reigning lightweight champion may be even better on the feet than he was before because he actually had some time to just concentrate on his boxing.
In his estimation, McGregor was already devastating with his hands but now he might be deadly.
“When would an MMA guy have a chance to take six months just to focus on one aspect of MMA? Never is the answer, they’re always trying to work on everything,” Kavanagh told the Daily Star in the U.K.
“But when he does return to the Octagon, his hands are going to be a lot better than what they were. And I’m excited to see that.”
While McGregor still hasn’t officially booked his next fight, he’s expected to unify the lightweight title with interim champion Tony Ferguson in 2018.
Ferguson has displayed very good boxing during his UFC career as well but he’s also a well versed wrestler with a wide range of submission victories under his belt including a triangle choke that earned him the interim title back in October.
Kavanagh is very confident in McGregor’s ability to beat anybody on the feet but he says the 29-year old Irishman is still getting his work done on the ground as well as he gets ready to return to the UFC.
“You know, I was rolling with him two weeks ago and I was wondering how his jiujitsu would be. And I was very annoyed that he took my back and choked me,” Kavanagh said. “So he hasn’t lost too much there.
“Of course, he has to tighten up there before he goes to fight in the Octagon again. But he really does love grappling.”
There’s still no word on when McGregor will return outside of rumors placing his next fight in early 2018.
McGregor has remained steadfast that he wants a new deal with the UFC including some sort of co-promotion with his own company before booking his next fight. As of now, there’s no word on the two sides reaching an agreement.
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