Javier Mendez, the head coach behind Khabib Nurmagomedov, says Conor McGregor would get smashed in a rematch with the lightweight champion.
Like pretty much everybody, Mendez was watching last Saturday’s UFC 257 card very closely. After seeing McGregor get stopped by Dustin Poirier in the main event, he has some concerns about the Irishman’s preparation.
“When I saw Dustin start going for the leg kicks, I go, oh my God, Conor’s stance is not made for checking properly, leg kicks like that,” Mendez said of McGregor on Submission Radio. “Especially calf kicks. So, I thought that was going to be a major problem and then when he hit Dustin with the good shot and Dustin took it, that’s when I kind of knew, oh boy, things are gonna change and sure enough they did. It was a great game plan from Dustin to work the leg kicks, calf kicks and it was a bad judgement on Conor’s part to not be prepared for that.
“I don’t understand how you cannot be prepared for something like that, when that’s what everybody’s going to. Khabib, I told him, I reminded him every day that ‘Justin’s coming after your legs, Justin’s coming after your legs.’ Every day I was telling him that. And you would think that you would be reminded also because that’s a big weapon. Until fighters learn how to deal with it, it’s gonna be a big weapon.”
Heading into the his fight with Poirier, McGregor was vocal about his desire for a future rematch with Nurmagomedov, who he lost to via submission in 2018.
With McGregor riding a tough loss, and Nurmagomedov retiring, that rematch now seems impossible, but Mendez believes it would have been a blowout for his student had it occured.
“He would’ve got smashed,” Mendez said. “Khabib’s gotten better. He would’ve got smashed. He would have got smashed. Straight up. Khabib’s better. He’s better than he was when they fought two years ago. Conor didn’t appear to be better. He’s regressed a little bit. Khabib’s gotten way better. He would have gotten smashed.”
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