Coach John Kavanagh, Conor McGregor

Coach John Kavanagh was worried about Conor McGregor’s mental health

Conor McGregor’s longtime coach John Kavanagh, of SBG Ireland, says that he was concerned about his fighter’s mental health during his extended period of inactivity.

The former two-division UFC champion officially re-entered the UFC’s drug-testing pool with USADA on Oct. 8, meaning he will be eligible to compete again on April 8, 2024, per U.S. Anti-Doping Agency rules.

McGregor has not competed since injuring his leg during a trilogy bout with Dustin Poirier during the summer of 2021.

Kavanagh told Ariel Helwani Monday on The MMA Hour that McGregor was expected to be back in the Spring of 2024, but now that too may be extended until the summer.

“Well, I was [worried about his mental health] too, I’m not going to lie,” Kavanagh said. “But hearing him today, he’s out there finding this great group of training partners — at least he’s doing that. Hey, it’s not quite the same as getting in to compete in front of a large crowd, but at least he’s getting training in, and that’s so important. We heard Volk talk about that, ‘Keep me busy,’ and all that. So, I love to hear that he’s training hard with these guys.

“But look, and this is what I was saying to him as well — yeah, OK, it’s a knock back if we’re hearing it was April but now it’s July, but it’s not the end of the world. It is an extra couple of months. It’s not great. But hey, you’re enjoying your training at the moment. Let’s just keep that going. But the sport, you are around for such a short time as compared to — well, I’m not going to try to make a comparison to other sports or whatever, but like our careers, we can do this for decades. For fighters, is a short time.”