EXCLUSIVE | Khabib Nurmagomedov coach Javier Mendez praises ‘great fighter’ Conor McGregor

Khabib Nurmagomedov, Javier Mendez

This Saturday night, in the main event of UFC 229, undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will attempt to defend his title opposite former UFC lightweight and featherweight champ Conor McGregor.

While Khabib Nurmagomedov has faced some strong opposition in the past, such as Rafael dos Anjos, Michael Johnson, and Edson Barboza, Conor McGregor is easily the most dangerous opponent he’s faced over the course of his 26-fight career. The Russian’s head coach, Javier Mendez, is well aware of this fact.

“Connor’s a great fighter, man,” Mendez said on episode 99 of BJPENN.COM Radio. “That’s not too much credit. He’s a great fighter, he is a great fighter. So, you underestimate Connor, that’s stupid. I’m not underestimating how brave he is, he’s a great fighter. We have a great fighter ahead of us, I just happen to think Khabib is a greater fighter.”

“Doesn’t mean Connor’s not at a great fighter,” Mendez added. “To me, he’s a great fighter.”

While Javier Mendez recognizes that Conor McGregor is very dangerous, he feels that Khabib Nurmagomedov is even more dangerous because he possesses more weapons.

“I see this fight going any [number of] ways,” Javier Mendez said. “It could go five rounds, it could go one round, two rounds, three rounds, four rounds. The only thing I do see is that Khabib could finish him everywhere, where Connor’s chances, best chances, are to stand up, and that’s it. It’s one dimensional. He’s an incredible striker. He’s an incredible precision striker, he corners you, traps you. He’s really, really good at how he baits you and how he gets you to come in. He’s really good. The man’s a great fighter. I can’t ever take that away from him. He’s a great fighter.”

Who do you think will emerge victorious when Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov collide in the UFC 229 main event?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/2/2018.