December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor celebrates his championship victory against Jose Aldo during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Conor McGregor’s Coach Reacts To His Behavior at Bellator 187 Last Weekend

John Kavanagh explains why Conor McGregor was so emotional in his response at Bellator 187 last weekend

Few people know Conor McGregor as well as his head coach John Kavanagh and that’s probably why he’s best suited to explain what unfolded this past Friday night at Bellator 187 in Ireland.

At what appeared to be the end of the fight between McGregor’s teammate Charlie Ward and his opponent John Redmond, the UFC lightweight champion jumped over the fence wall to celebrate but then got into an altercation with referee Marc Goddard, who tried to eject him from the cage.

McGregor then exploded and chased after Goddard, putting his hands on the referee before security could intervene and pull him out of the cage. From there, McGregor tried to go back on top of the cage again when another official attempted to shove him off. That’s when McGregor took a swipe at the official as he was once again pulled down from the cage side area.

On Monday, Kavanagh explained what happened from his vantage point and while he didn’t justify McGregor’s actions, he tried to point out why the reigning UFC lightweight champion was so emotional in that moment.

“Charlie is one of Conor’s very close friends and he’s coming off two pretty devastating losses, he lost fast and hard in both his UFC fights and was dropped by the UFC and then he fought in Bellator. So when you’re seeing someone that you’re that close with, with two bad defeats and then have a great victory in front of his hometown crowd, he got a bit emotional, jumped over the top and jumped and he didn’t actually realize that the fight hadn’t been called,” Kavanagh told TV3 in Ireland on Monday.

“He thought when [Ward] knocked the guy down, it was over, but it was actually just the end of the round. The fight wasn’t over. So the referee was trying to tell him the fight’s not over but it was pretty obvious it was over, in his defense.”

McGregor has definitely been close with Ward throughout his career including the time he worked his corner during the fight where Brazilian competitor Joao Carvalho was knocked out and later died due to the injuries he sustained in the battle.

This time around, McGregor was nothing more than a spectator in the audience but that didn’t stop him from getting a close look at the fight as it unfolded before jumping into the cage to celebrate with Ward after it was over.

“A little bit over emotional there but you sort of understand when you know him and Charlie’s relationship for the last number of years,” Kavanagh said.

As of yet, the UFC has made no official statement regarding McGregor’s behavior at the Bellator event in Ireland

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.
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