Conor McGregor's black belt in jiu jitsu 'is coming,' his head trainer John Kavanagh says

Conor McGregor judo throws John Kavanagh

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Conor McGregor and John Kavanagh on the mat.

  • Conor McGregor's black belt in jiu jitsu is coming, his head coach John Kavanagh told Business Insider.
  • The Dublin fighter currently has brown belt status and though he is one rung below black, he is more revered for his ability during stand-up combat.
  • But should McGregor submit his UFC 246 opponent Donald Cerrone in their non-title welterweight fight on Saturday, he'll get a black belt straight away. It would be "announced in the cage," an MMA expert told us.
  • Regardless, McGregor is expected to either decision or KO Cerrone, rather than submit him.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

LAS VEGAS - Conor McGregor is already an expert striker with a ferocious left-handed power punch, but he also has an ever-developing ground game and will soon be a black belt in jiu jitsu.

That is according to his head coach John Kavanagh, who told Business Insider this week that McGregor, who is currently a brown belt, will, "of course be a black belt … it's coming."
A pioneer of martial arts in Ireland, Kavanagh is the first man in his country to receive a black belt in jiu jitsu. And when asked what McGregor has to do, to go from a brown belt to black, Kavanagh laughed. "You can't ask me that! That's more personal than asking me when me and [my partner] Orlagh are getting married!"

The Telegraph's combat sports columnist Gareth A. Davies said McGregor could receive his black belt in two days - all he has to do is submit his UFC 246 opponent Donald Cerrone at the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, January 18.

"If he submitted Cerrone he'd get a black belt straight away and I wouldn't be surprised if it was announced in the cage," Davies said. "He will get his black belt. He's a lifelong martial artist."

McGregor is expected to decision or KO Cerrone, rather than submit him

Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone at UFC 246

Photo by AP Photo/John Locher

McGregor and Cerrone face off for the media.

One advantage Cerrone has over McGregor is experience. "That's what Donald brings," McGregor's coach Kavanagh told us."He's fought twice as much as Conor and there's no substitute for that amount of experience. He's a good all-rounder, he can submit you, decision you, and knock you out. He is a formidable opponent, very enjoyable to prepare for, and we're very well prepared."

So well prepared, Davies tips McGregor to walk away with a win.

"It could be a close fight but Conor wins," Davies said. "Cerrone will put everything into this. The ground is dangerous [for McGregor], but Conor does it [wins]."

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