McGregor has learned lessons from Diaz defeat: coach
By Philip O'Connor
(Reuters) - "Win or learn" has long been the motto of mixed martial arts coach John Kavanagh and he says his fighter Conor McGregor has learned the lessons of his shock defeat by Nate Diaz as the two prepare for a much-anticipated rematch.
Currently the biggest star in the sport, featherweight champion McGregor stepped up two weight classes to meet Diaz but was choked out in the second round of their first meeting by the brash Californian.
The two are now set to face off again on Aug. 20 in Las Vegas as McGregor seeks his revenge.
The Straight Blast Gym (SBG) boss told Reuters that the next fight against Diaz would be a completely different ball game.
"The whole approach to this contest is different," he said via Skype from McGregor's training camp.
"(Previously) we were always concerned with trying to improve ourselves and nothing to do with who we are facing, but this time we are almost completely training in a specific way for a specific type of opponent," he said.
Kavanagh said that McGregor in no way underestimated Diaz, who stepped in as a late replacement after then-lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos pulled out of a title bout against the Irish fighter due to injury.
McGregor's decision to move up two weight classes to meet Diaz proved to be his downfall as, despite a strong start in which he rocked Diaz several times with punches, he tasted defeat for the first time in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Continued...