Conor McGregor's coach suggested the UFC star's days in the sport might be numbered, saying 'even Superman slows down'

Conor McGregor's days in the UFC might be numbered, according to his head coach John Kavanagh.

McGregor's pupil-trainer relationship with Kavanagh began in 2007 and is one of the most enduring in combat sports as Kavanagh helped guide McGregor to achieve double-champion status in both Cage Warriors and UFC.

Read more: When John Kavanagh first met Conor McGregor he beat him so badly 'he couldn't breathe'

But McGregor has not tasted victory since 2016, when he picked up his second UFC title by beating the former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez by technical knockout. Since then, he suffered back-to-back losses against Floyd Mayweather in 2017 and most recently versus Khabib Nurmagomedov in October. It is these defeats that will "be hard for him" to accept, Kavanagh said in the Irish Independent on Sunday.

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Moments from Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC match against Conor McGregor
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Moments from Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC match against Conor McGregor
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: (L-R) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia faces Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: Conor McGregor of Ireland warms up backstage during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: (R-L) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia reacts after submitting Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: Conor McGregor of Ireland walks out prior to facing Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: Conor McGregor of Ireland warms up backstage during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia looks across the Octagon at his opponent Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia speaks to referee Herb Dean as he controls the body Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: (R-L) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia controls the body of Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 06: (L-R) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia controls the body of Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229 event inside T-Mobile Arena on October 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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"He's 30, two kids, and has a big whiskey deal that's making him more money than fighting ever did," Kavanagh said. "Would you get up in the morning to be punched in the face? I don't think so. But he'll probably call me tomorrow and say: 'What did you say that for? I'm fighting in March.' So I don't know."

Kavanagh said that he does not "want him taking more hits than he needs to" and can't help but look back at his most recent loss, the conclusive fourth round submission defeat to Nurmagomedov.

"Khabib hit him with a punch in that fight that he has never been hit with in his career," he said.

McGregor recently signed a new six-fight contract with the UFC, but after his UFC 229 loss to Nurmagomedov he only has five fights left on the deal. He recently said he expects to return in 2019, but Kavanagh is left wondering how many more hits McGregor will be able to take, while still escaping the sport unharmed, in good health, and having earned a lot of money.

Time, Kavanagh has implied, may not be on his side. "Even Superman slows down at some stage," he said.

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UP NEXT: Conor McGregor's coach admits mistakes were made leading up to UFC 229 — and says a rematch would be a 'huge fight'

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