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'We had a giggle about it' - Kavanagh on the rumour that McGregor was knocked out in training

The bogus rumour was promptly dismissed by the SBG camp.


JOHN KAVANAGH SAYS he even received a phonecall from his concerned mother when a rumour emerged earlier this month which claimed that Conor McGregor’s participation in the UFC’s inaugural event in New York City was in doubt.

According to the rumour, which broke via Twitter, McGregor was “knocked out cold” and suffered a broken nose while training at Straight Blast Gym in Dublin for his UFC 205 main event against lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez on 12 November.

Kavanagh, the head coach at SBG Ireland, and other members of the team were subsequently inundated with messages as the rumour gathered momentum. Alvarez was among those who appeared to be convinced by it.

However, the claim was promptly dismissed by the SBG camp and McGregor’s bid to add the lightweight belt to the featherweight strap which is already in his possession remains on track, with the fight at Madison Square Garden now just two weeks away.

Kavanagh told The42 that they laughed off the rumour. On the day in question, the only bad news for McGregor was the $150,000 fine he received from the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his role in a press conference fracas ahead of his victory over Nate Diaz in their rematch at UFC 202 in Las Vegas in August.

“It was a rest day and I knew he had that commission hearing,” Kavanagh explained. “He swung by the gym that evening and I said to him: ‘That’s a rough day — $150,000 fine and you got knocked out in training.’

UFC 205 Mixed Martial Arts Eddie Alvarez will defend his UFC lightweight title against Conor McGregor on 12 November. Source: Julie Jacobson

“We kind of had a giggle about it. I think it turned out to be some fan, as a joke, messaged a US-based — I think ‘reporter’ would be a strong word — tweeter. All these guys just have Twitter accounts and they put out tweets. Your man swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

“It just picked up steam very, very quickly and within minutes I’m getting my mother ringing me, saying: ‘What the hell is after happening to Conor?’

“You just have to kind of smile at these things. He’s fine, by the way.”

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Paul Dollery

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