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Proud To Be Irish Essay On Sport

Conor McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh has revealed the fighter wrote him an essay on everything he did wrong - after knocking out Jose Aldo for the world featherweight title.

And he even predicts The Notorious will be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger and forge a career in the movies after his UFC days are over.

In a revealing interview into his work with dad-to-be McGregor, 28, John said the UFC star is the most self-critical fighter he’s met.

It wasn’t always like that though - in the early days, McGregor would often think about packing it in after losing in the octagon - with Kavanagh having to “drag him down from his house”.

Kavanagh, 36, told the Irish Mirror: “Like any sport there’s a sell by date. But Conor is 28, he’s a baby in the sport.

“I look at Bernard Hopkins who’s 50, winning world title fights so Conor isn’t going anywhere soon.

“I predict once he’s done in the sport he will disappear. People think he likes the limelight, he doesn’t. He just likes fighting and promoting fights.

“Who knows maybe he’ll go to Hollywood and become the next Schwarzenegger.”

The coach, who put MMA on the map in Ireland, has had many highlights in McGregor’s corner but he says the ultimate was in New York.

He said: “My highlight was Madison Square Garden knowing that we were in the same changing room that Muhammad Ali got ready in. Just the history there and New York in general.”

Speaking about his winning formula, he added: “When I meet someone in sport or business I’m always interested to find out, how did they get over their biggest loss?

“I’ve had plenty of losses and failures but it’s about what you do with them. You don’t see a loss or a failure as a reason to quit you see it as an opportunity to learn.

“Conor and I have done that since day one. We’ve had plenty of losses in the cage but we use them to improve ourselves, come back and have plenty of wins too.

“Certainly at the beginning if Conor had a loss he would treat it as a reason to quit and I’d have to drag him down from his house.

“But that doesn’t happen anymore. You see him at his last loss, as soon as the fight was over he was analysing what he did wrong.

“He was humble in defeat. We got back in the gym, got ourselves a four- month plan and showed the world what we can do with a loss.

“If I have a fighter and after a win they go on a bender for four-and-a-half weeks, I forget about them. They’re wasting my time.”

Speaking about McGregor’s dedication he said: “I always use this story that when Conor beat Aldo to unify the 145 level, he argues it was an 11- second fight but it was 13 seconds on the record book, one punch and it was over.

“But he’s the most self-critical fighter I’ve ever met, and that night we went out for a bit and when we came home he wrote me an essay on everything he’d done wrong. It was only a 13 second fight.”

As Ireland’s first MMA fighter John is known as the godfather of the sport and revealed the future is bright for many of his up-and-coming protegees.

He said: “I’m always asked who’s the next McGregor?

“James Gallagher from Strabane is in a lot of people’s minds the next Notorious, but he’s his own man, I want all my fighters to have their own personalities.”

The coach will be the first in MMA history to be in Madison Square
Gardens twice in a row, adding: “I’m going to be in both of them so I’m very proud of that.

“I’m walking out with James, it’s amazing what he’s been able to do.

“But it’s great what Conor did, he opened the door for a lot of fighters but now they have to find their own way.”

Speaking about the dangers of the MMA sport he said: “It’s like when people talk about the dangers of MMA and compare it to boxing, well you know what sport’s a lot more dangerous than MMA or boxing or rugby? No sport.

“We have a bigger problem of obesity for our next generation affecting thousands of people.

“Yes, at a higher level like in rugby there’s a lot of dangers that go with the sport, but it’s a hell of a lot more dangerous doing nothing.”

Kavanagh kicked off the first in the series of Lucozade Sport’s ‘Made to Move Sessions’ designed to champion active lifestyles.

MMA super fans got a chance to step into the infamous octagon as the coach took them through the ultimate training regime with a high-intensity MMA workout in his Straight Blast Gym in Dublin.

He told the Irish Daily Mirror: “The types of training I incorporate in MMA are about technicality and functionality.

“Think big exercises that involve the whole body that help improve overall flexibility, strength and endurance.

“People think MMA training only focuses on martial arts or boxing and it does, but I also encourage more unorthodox training like yoga, even dance classes, which take a more playful approach to exercise,
giving the body a break and apply a more playful element into your workout.

"People think we only train fighters here, there are 850 people in this gym, there are 50 doing it at a very high level, the others are just regular mums and dads."

The superstar coach told how more and more women are getting into the cage.

He said: “American fighter Ronda Rousey and Ireland’s own Aisling Daly aka Ais the Bash, have brought up the sport.

“It’s not just seen as a male sport anymore and in my experience girls can fight pretty hard.”

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SOMETIMES IT’S EASY to write Ireland off as a “poxy country” or give out yards about the weather.

But every so often, Ireland does something amazing that reminds you that this isn’t a bad little country after all.


1. Our soccer team (ranked 54th in the world) beat Germany (ranked 2nd in the world) last night

2. And our rugby team aren’t doing so badly either…

Source: Paddy Power

We like those odds.

3. A lad from Mullingar is literally one of the most famous people in the world

I'm making sure I call my first child @ShaneLong7 ... always brings the goods ... Long ball , very well taken finish ... 🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀

— Niall Horan (@NiallOfficial) October 9, 2015
Source: Niall Horan/Twitter

4. And a lad from Co. Down is one of the most famous athletes in the world

5. A man from Donegal won the Nobel Prize for Medicine earlier this week

Source: Mary Schwalm

William Campbell hails from Ramelton, Co. Donegal, and this week, he shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his work developing drugs to fight parasitic diseases.


6. Our views are frankly ridiculous.

This isn’t a still from Lord of the Rings.

It’s Co. Wicklow.

Source: stereophotogrammetry

7.  See this guy on the cover of Italian Vogue? He’s from Ennis. No big deal.

Source: Aidan Walsh/Twitter

Irish people conquering the fashion industry? Done.

8. Oh, and did we mention that BazAshmawy’s 50 Ways To Kill Your Mammy was just nominated or an International Emmy?

Sky’s 50 Ways To Kill Your Mammy was nominated for Best Non-Scripted Entertainment at the International Emmys earlier this week.

Yes, Irish mammies are conquering the world. What a time to be alive!

9. We’re being tipped for a rake of Oscar nominations next year

Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Room, directed by Lenny Abrahamson, is already one of the Oscar favourites having won the prestigious audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Michael Fassbender is being tipped for a Best Actor nomination for his performance in Steve Jobs. Saoirse Ronan is currently wowing critics with her performance in Brooklyn.

And Variety thinks Viva stands a chance at being nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. Olé, olé, olé!

10. Even our beer is winning awards


Franciscan Well was named World’s Best Seasonal Pale Ale this week.

Nice one.

11. What other country has an airline that steps up to the plate like this during hard times?

Source: Aer Lingus

12. What other country would be this sound to 18-year-olds sitting exams?

Source: Arlene Kenny/Twitter

Everywhere else: “So what if you’re sitting exams?”

Ireland: “Come here and I’ll put on the kettle for you and I’ll say a little prayer for you…”

13. Seriously, only in Ireland could someone say this to their boss and not get in a heap of trouble

Source: The Guardian

Sure, we’re great craic.

14. And only in Ireland could one of the country’s leading current affairs lead a crowd in an “Olé, olé, olé” chant while celebrating marriage equality

Source: TV3 Ireland/YouTube

We love you, Ireland.


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