Conor McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh has spent months trying to figure out why his fighter lost to Nate Diaz at UFC 196. Initially, he blamed fatigue and inefficiency. Then the bad strategy of trying to out punch a man with a iron chin. Now Kavanagh's got a new idea. Cheesecake is to blame.
McGregor, who fought Diaz at 170 pounds, which is 25 pounds more than his typical fighting weight, was hampered by the extra flab, his coach says. Not so much because the weight itself slowed him down, but because McGregor, who's walking around weight is closer to 170, didn't have to put himself through the starvation ritual typically necessary to get in the cage. Here’s what Kavanagh told The 42, via MMA Mania.
Cutting weight may not be much fun, but it does serve as a reminder that you're preparing for a fight. It focuses the mind and has been an enormous part of what we've been doing. Without that ritual, things were just weird. It left us all in an unusual state of mind. The routine we had established was suddenly absent. The need to cut weight gets the fighter in the zone and lets them know that a fight is on the horizon. If a person is starving, they're in survival mode. It focuses the mind and taps into the reptilian part of the brain.
If Kavanagh's right, then he'll have another problem on his hands at August 20, when The "Notorious" Irishman will once again fight Diaz at 170 pounds—a weight McGregor insisted on so he could prove that the first fight was a fluke.
But the coach has a plan to avoid the problem and get McGregor in that "reptilian" mindset at UFC 202.
“We've accepted now that it's an important element of his preparation, so you can expect him to come in on weigh‐in day at around 165 pounds. No cheesecakes this time!”