Islam Makhachev’s coach explains why staph infection before UFC 302 wasn’t a big deal for them

By Cole Shelton - June 5, 2024

Javier Mendez, the head coach of Islam Makhachev says his fighter getting staph before UFC 302 wasn’t a big deal to them.

Islam Makhachev, UFC 302

Makhachev was headlining UFC 302 against Dustin Poirier as he was looking to defend his lightweight title for the third time. Heading into the fight, Makhachev was a sizeable betting favorite, but on fight week, a photo went viral of him apparently having a staph infection.

After the fight, Islam Makhachev confirmed he had staph infection but he was able to score a fifth-round submission. Although staph infection has had negative impacts on some fighters, Mendez says he and the team weren’t nervous due to their past experience with it.

“No, not at all and the reason being, we dealt with staph many of occasions with so many different fighters. The fighters will sometimes override what staph does. Luke Rockhold had staph the week of his fight against Chris Weidman and look what he did. The mind overrides it,” Mendez said to Submission Radio.

Mendez says Makhachev told him he had staph on May 7 which also is why he wasn’t worried about it as they knew they had plenty of time for the antibiotics to work.

Javier Mendez also says that even with the staph, the training camp for Makhachev for UFC 302 was the best he’s seen. He also says Makhachev’s conditioning was on point and he was ready to go despite having to overcome the staph infection.

“I don’t think it played a factor, I really don’t. I was very truthful in my comments that he was the best he’s ever looked, it really was. I’m not going to take that back, that was the best he’s ever looked, best he’s prepared going into a fight,” Mendez said.

Makhachev ended up getting a fifth-round submission win over Poirier to defend his title for the third time.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Islam Makhachev Javier Mendez UFC