Straight Blast Gym Ireland Head Coach John Kavanagh talks UFC Fight Night Dublin
There is less than a week to go until one of the biggest ever nights for Straight Blast Gym, and potentially the biggest night in the history of MMA in Ireland. If you had somehow missed the news up until now, Saturday 19th July will see the return of the UFC to Ireland with UFC Fight Night 46, taking place in Dublin. That card contains no less than four fighters from Straight Blast Gym! As if having four fighters on the card weren’t impressive enough, two of those four are headlining as part of a co-main event.
Straight Blast Gym Ireland’s Conor McGregor takes on Diego Brandao to mark his return to the UFC after close to a year out due to a torn ACL. SBG’s undefeated Gunnar Nelson will fight Zak Cummings, coming off a Performance of the Night first-round submission victory over Omari Akhmedov in March. Meanwhile, two Straight Blast Gym Ireland fighters make their Octagon debuts earlier in the card, as former TUF competitor Cathal Pendred fights former housemate Mike King, and Paddy Holohan returns from a TUF back injury to take on Josh Sampo. All in all, it spells a very busy night indeed for Straight Blast Gym Ireland’s Head Coach John Kavanagh.
Check out the below link and video interview with Coach John Kavanagh. He reminisces about the night five years ago when he and his students, including a young Conor McGregor and Cathal Pendred, went to see the UFC’s first event in Dublin. The impact it had on Irish MMA cannot be underestimated, and Saturday’s event stands to be just as, if not more, significant. Regardless of results, it is also a momentous occasion for Straight Blast Gym too, but John Kavanagh shows just confidence in all of his competitors. The prospect of four wins from four fights on a UFC card is a definite possibility. Of Conor McGregor, he states that the featherweight is even better that the fighter we saw a year ago, and that the new McGregor, since recovering from injury, would ‘murder’ his former self in the first round were the two to meet. Of the possibility of ring rust, Kavanagh echoed McGregor’s opinion, that it is nothing more than an excuse for part-timers, and the lazy.
Kavanagh points to Gunnar Nelson as the perfect example of how a return from injury provides no excuse. Nelson returned from knee surgery to pick up a Performance of the Night bonus in March, and Kavanagh believes another big result on Saturday will see him competing with the top ten welterweights in the world, with a title shot and belt, little more than a matter of time.