Javier Mendez Shoots Down Gaethje’s Chances
Over the weekend, Justin Gaethje viciously knocked out Edson Barboza in a wildly fun fight. Following this fight, Gaethje called for a shot against Khabib Nurmagomedov.
After the brutal first round KO, Gaethje made it clear that he felt as if he was the toughest match-up for the UFC Lightweight Champion. Someone who disagrees with that is Khabib’s coach, Javier Mendez. Coach went on the MMA Hour to discuss how much of a chance Gaethje has in the proposed bout.
“Not much, because he ain’t going to be able to stop the takedown. None of those guys can. [Nurmagomedov will] take them all down, and if they don’t have much of a ground game, they’re done. The only way it becomes interesting is if Khabib decides to do things. Look back on all his fights, it’s only when he decides to stand with people that it becomes a little bit trickier.”
One of the interesting question marks of a bout with Justin Gaethje, is Gaethje’s underrated wrestling game. Gaethje was a two-time Arizona State Champion, and NCAA Division I All-American. However, Mendez is not impressed by this, nor in Gaethje’s knockout ability. He has faith in Khabib Nurmagomedov’s chin.
“The guy can take a shot, he doesn’t even get fazed. I mean, look, Barboza kicks him in the head, it didn’t even look like, what, nothing. And then Michael Johnson taps him right on the head and I’m like, ‘Dude, he hit you.’ And he goes, ‘No, he didn’t.’ And I go, ‘Yes, he did. He hit you with a decent shot.'”
Whether or not the fight will be competitive in the end, is still to be decided. However, one thing is for sure; Justin Gaethje is must-see television no matter who he fights.