Conor McGregor has taken a controversial stand against the UFC and what their idea of "reasonable promotion" means. According to McGregor, the UFC is asking too much of its fighters, and he clearly wants to make some changes.
Unfortunately, McGregor's coach John Kavanagh is hurting the cause... that is, if you ask Chael Sonnen. The former UFC title contender and current MMA analyst criticized Kavanagh for making contradictory comments on episode 28 of the Beyond the Fight Podcast.
"His coach cannot be putting anything out about him ever. Period. Ever. Because he doesn't get it!" Sonnen ranted. "Respectfully, coach Kavanagh, You don't get it. You don't get it! Your student does. He gets it. Conor knows what's going on."
Sonnen was directly referencing McGregor's April 21 tweet labeled as #yourmove, a message directed at UFC president Dana White.
"Conor cannot put a post saying 'money made, bills paid, game slayed. Your move,' which means 'I do not care what happens, I'm handled either way. It's your move,'" Sonnen continued. "He can't do that and three days later have you come out saying hey fans, please petition and get him back."
Kavanagh went on the MMA Hour earlier this week and told Ariel Helwani that McGregor HAD to be put on the main card when the UFC returns to New York in November.
"I think Conor would show up anyway and fight someone in a changing room if [White] doesn't put him on the card," Kavanagh said. "We have to be put on the New York card."
He then asked fans to tweet their support for getting McGregor in the lineup for New York. He also indicated that McGregor was "training hard" and "upset" that the UFC might not let him fight at Madison Square Garden.
"You can't do it! It's never good for a trainer or manager to do this. Whether it comes from a good place or not, you look like you're trying to get paid," Sonnen continued.
"If one guy is sitting there, and the whole hand he's playing is 'I got enough, I don't need to do it. Won the title, got the money, don't care, having a great life.' If he's playing that, that's a pretty good hand! But you can't show cracks in it."
Sonnen has a point, it's hard for McGregor to essentially "flip off" the company that made him a star only to bend a few days later.
Sonnen pointed out, "You're talking about UFC 200, UFC New York, and why we're blacklisted. Wait a minute, I thought the game was slayed, the bills were paid, and the money was made? That was their move! Now you're begging to get on a card?"
At the end of the day, the strong stance that McGregor took, which cost him fighting at UFC 200, doesn't seem to be a team effort, and not having a unified front shows cracks in the armor; cracks that Sonnen feels brings down the entire cause.
"Once there's a crack, it's unraveled, and the gig is up! You want to fight. You need the fight. The bills are not paid, the money is not made, and the game damn sure hasn't been slayed," said Sonnen.
"That's the reality. We all knew that, and it was cool when it came out, but your own guy outed you."