Conor McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh called McGregor’s rematch with Nate Diaz a must-win fight ahead of their bout at UFC 202 later this month.
“There can be no excuses here if we don’t get the result we’re pursuing,” Kavanagh said according to The 42. “The preparation has been flawless. But the reassuring thing from our point of view is that I know we won’t need any excuses because it’s not going to come to that.
“This is a very important fight for Conor, but I also feel that my own reputation as a coach is at stake. This contest can be a bit of a game-changer for us all. Some observers who are obsessed with weight classes and belts don’t see this as a very meaningful fight. They’re more interested in seeing Conor defend his featherweight belt and going after the lightweight strap, too.”
Diaz upset McGregor with a second-round submission at UFC 196 in March, handing him his first UFC loss. The two were originally scheduled to fight again at UFC 200 on July 9 before McGregor was pulled from the card for his refusal to promote the event.
McGregor currently holds the featherweight belt and planned to attempt to take the lightweight title from Rafael dos Anjos before a foot injury forced the current lightweight champion to withdraw from the fight.
UFC 202 is scheduled for Aug. 20 in Las Vegas, beginning at 10 p.m. ET, and will be headlined by a heavyweight fight between Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Glover Teixeira.