Javier Mendez didn’t know Khabib Nurmagomedov was going to retire after he defeated Justin Gaethje.
All the talk for Nurmagomedov has been he will retire at 30-0. Yet, after he defeated Gaethje to improve to 29-0 he announced his retirement from MMA. He said he could not continue without his father and for Mendez, he said you have to respect the champ’s decision to do that.
“I learned about it when he was giving the speech. My jaw dropped. I was like, what. I mean, (Khabib Nurmagomedov) played the best poker face on the planet,” Mendez said to Submission Radio. “All of this was a total shock to me. I was going, oh man, father’s plan. Great. But mother’s plan works in the end as his mother’s wish was for him not to fight without his father, and that’s what he did. And, you know, respect.”
Once he announced his retirement, immediately, many fans said he would come out of retirement as most fighters do. However, for Mendez, he says he can’t see the champ going back on his word. So, he believes UFC 254 was the last time Nurmagomedov fights as a professional.
“Unless he changes his mind, personally I don’t see why the reason why (he comes back). He has never been somebody to say something and not meant it,” Mendez added. “To me, I would have to say that part is done. Sure, anything is possible and as much as the fans and myself as a coach I would love to have him back, I think he is done. You are not going to get me to convince him otherwise.”
Javier Mendez also says if Khabib Nurmagomedov would ever go back on his retirement it would be now. He believes once you are away from the sport for over two years you fall too far behind. So, the AKA head coach believes Nurmagomedov will stick to his retirement.
Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov will stay retired?