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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Vincent Whelan

Conor McGregor's coach John Kavanagh tells UFC 'all is forgiven' after being thrown out of arena

John Kavanagh is taking a zen enough approach to the slightly shambolic organisation around UFC 279.

The Straight Blast Gym coach, Johnny Walker and the rest of their team were told to immediately vacate the backstage area after Walker's first-round victory over Ion Cutelaba.

The issue seemed to arise out of a lack of space in Las Vegas' T-Mobile arena where the card was held on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

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But while he understandably vented about the shoddy treatment in the immediate aftermath, the Dubliner doesn't seem to be holding any grudges over the bizarre incident.

And that's largely down to Walker being awarded the $50,000 performance of the night bonus.

Kavanagh joked: "Well Johnny Walker won the 50Gs baby bonus. All is forgiven UFC, you can boot us out anytime."

@CoachKavanagh (Twitter)

In a separate tweet, he then added: "Great win and bonus Saturday night. Following day sun still rises. Those who matter still do, those who don't still don't.

"Win or lose process is the same. Get back in the gym, improve and get ready for the next. Don't celebrate victories or commiserate loses too hard. Just go."

At the time Kavanagh, Walker and Co had been left bemused as he shared a clip of them walking around aimlessly having been turfed out with the Brazilian still wearing his fight gear which meant he hadn't even had time to put on a pair of shoes.

In the caption alongside the video, Kavanagh said: "So, UFC just came and kicked us out. No tickets for us and not allowed stay back stage to watch.

"Pulled out back door, kicked out, not even [with] shoes on."

"So here we are back at the hotel, Johnny still has his gloves on, he didn't get a chance to get changed."

Walker ensured his future in the promotion by choking out Ion Cutelaba in the opening fight of the main card.

He snapped a two-fight losing streak with his victory which was followed by a win for Irene Aldana who stopped Macy Chiasson with the first-ever liver kick KO from the ground. Li Jingliang then dropped a split decision to Daniel Rodriguez in the first of three fights put together at the last minute.

Jingliang was due to face Tony Ferguson in the co-main event but accepted a fight against Rodriguez who weighed in almost 10lb heavier on Friday. Ferguson instead headlined the card against Nate Diaz while Khamzat Chimaev choked out Kevin Holland in the new co-main event.


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