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John Kavanagh: Conor McGregor is still champion, people can say what they want

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SBG Dublin head coach John Kavanagh has a message for Conor McGregor’s fans and detractors.

Conor McGregor’s inactivity is not exactly sitting well with everyone in the MMA community. Top contender Edson Barboza, for one, considers interim champion Tony Ferguson as the actual undisputed title-holder.

From their end, the McGregor camp couldn’t care less about the criticisms thrown their way. According to SBG Dublin head coach John Kavanagh, “The Notorious” is currently in the process of assessing what the right next move is.

“Conor’s still the champion. They can say what they want – I have his belt at home, actually,” Kavanagh told BBC Northern Ireland (transcript via MMAjunkie). “He’s still the champion. He’s making the decision on what makes sense for the next move. It’s kind of early days yet. We’re just watching how that has developed while he’s been away; he’s had other going things on. Let’s see what happens in 2018. I’m excited about it, anyway.”

McGregor has been called out by high-profile boxers Manny Pacquiao and Oscar De La Hoya for another possible fight under boxing rules. Kavanagh, however, maintains that 2018 will be a big year for their team as they put their focus back to MMA competition.

“I think 2018 will be another big year for us. Exactly what that is, I don’t know yet,” Kavanagh said. “The plan is forming, but as they say, stay tuned. … My opinion, I’ll be pushing very hard for MMA. The boxing was a nice detour from what we’ve done, but mixed martial arts is my passion. If I have anything to do with it, he’ll be in the octagon this year.”

McGregor’s last UFC fight took place 14 months ago at UFC 205 in New York City, where he knocked out Eddie Alvarez to become the lightweight champ.

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