In an interview with Conor McGregor’s head coach, John Kavanagh has reaffirmed McGregor’s position as UFC lightweight champion and is eager to see his fighter return to the octagon.

Speaking with BBC Sport, Kavanagh provided an update on McGregor’s current status and was confident that UFC gold would remain around ‘The Notorious One’s’ waist.

“Conor’s still the champion,” Kavanagh said. “They can say what they want – I have his belt at home. He’s still the champion. He’s making the decision on what makes sense for the next move. It’s kind of early days yet. We’re just watching how that has developed while he’s been away; he’s had other going things on. Let’s see what happens in 2018. I’m excited about it, anyway.”

Kavanagh also revealed that McGregor has returned to training on a regular basis after seeing things outside of his fighting life calm down.

“I’m just happy to see him back, just regular training,” said Kavanagh. “He had a lot going on in his life. A lot of stuff outside of fighting was going on in his life and he seems to be getting the hang of all that. Now he’s back training almost every day now and I think 2018 will be another big year for us. Exactly what that is, I don’t know yet, but the plan is forming.

“My opinion? I’ll be pushing very hard for MMA,” Kavanagh said about which sport McGregor would return to in his next outing. “The boxing was a nice detour from what we’ve done, but mixed martial arts is my passion. If I have anything to do with it, he’ll be in the octagon this year.”