Conor McGregor Coach John Kavanaugh Defends Khabib: ‘I Hope They’re Lenient’

John Kavanaugh, the head coach of UFC star Conor McGregor at SBG Ireland, is the latest to sound off on the post-UFC 229 melee between his fighter and UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. First, we heard Khabib’s manager slam McGregor and his teammates, then Khabib’s father shared his own disappointment in his son. Now, we hear from Team McGregor.

And what Kavanaugh said may come as a surprise.

Kavanaugh appeared on the Monday, Oct. 8 edition of the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast with UFC commentator Joe Rogan where he addressed the brawl which spread into the crowd after Khabib choked out McGregor in the fourth round.

While some are asking for Khabib to be stripped and booted from the UFC, Kavanaugh is actually defending the champion and asking for leniency in any punishment.

“I hope they’re lenient on him and not just so we can get a rematch,” Kavanagh said, as transcribed by Damon Martin of MMA Weekly. “I love watching him fight for a start and I can stretch myself to understand his reaction. I can’t stretch myself to understand the other guy’s reactions and what they did [going after Conor]. For Khabib he jumped over the cage and he jumped someone. It’s not the end of the world.”

“It wasn’t that big a deal to me what Khabib did. It just really wasn’t.”

Of course, Kavanaugh has a good reason to hope Khabib isn’t on the shelf for a long time. If Khabib is suspended for a lengthy period of time by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, that puts any possibility of a rematch with McGregor in question. If Khabib is given a slap on the wrist and can return sooner rather than later, Team McGregor is going to be lining up and pleading for a rematch and an opportunity at redemption.

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