Former UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor recently made headlines when he was in attendance along with his son at the 2019 Super Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
But from the world of mixed martial arts, there were bigger headlines afterward as McGregor posted a picture of himself and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and head coach Roan ‘Jucao’ Carneiro on social media after a rolling session at American Top Team’s Atlanta gym.
It sparked rumors and speculation that the Irishman was possibly switching up camps as he looks to return to action later this year for the first time since his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October.
A simple day of training
However, speaking to John Hyon Ko of The Body Lock, Carneiro revealed there was nothing to those rumors. Instead, they both got in contact through a mutual friend in George Lockhart — who handles the diet for McGregor and many other UFC fighters.
Lockhart informed Carneiro that McGregor was simply looking to train somewhere for the day which led to their rolling session.
“He [McGregor] was like ‘hey man, you want to roll?’ I said ‘of course man, why not?’ Then we do one roll, five minutes and then the second roll, another five. And then the third, I have to be honest, it was my first training [session] after my [last] fight so I gassed a little bit. He’s like, ‘come on man, let’s go, one more, one more.’”
“Then he wanted championship rounds, so then we rolled for five, five-minute rounds. He liked a lot. We exchanged experience. I showed him some tricks. [I] just left my door open for him, whenever he wants to come, he is going to be welcomed. He changed what I thought about him — super nice guy, so respectful, I only have good things to tell about him.”
McGregor’s new coach in the future?
While he will not be McGregor’s new coach, the social media post exploded regardless, particularly for Carneiro. Interestingly, he isn’t ruling out the possibility of becoming McGregor’s coach in the future either.
“I saw he posted a picture on his social media. I’m like wow. My Instagram, all social media, Twitter, everything went crazy. Talking about calls, people were calling me. Then the rumors. Oh, he’s going to be the next head coach. This is fake news. He might like the training, I’m sure he liked it, but we didn’t have any conversations about me being his trainer.”
“He might in the future, I leave the door open. If he wants my help, I definitely want to help him. To be honest, it will be an accomplishment if I’m able to make him beat the guy who beat him. That makes me go wow. I don’t care about his money. I don’t care about him being Conor McGregor. I don’t give a damn about it. My final goal is the victory. Bringing some guys from their adversity to conquer the results. That’s my philosophy.”
Carneiro wouldn’t be the only coach ready to offer their services, as McGregor would have a host of options should he decide to switch things up.