Khabib Nurmagomedov’s head coach and head trainer of AKA (American Kickboxing Academy) Javier Mendez, recently talked about UFC 254 and why he thinks that Conor McGregor remains the biggest threat to Khabib’s throne.
Mendez talked to the media during the pre-fight presser and answered multiple questions, including Justin gaethje and Khabib Nurmagomedov fight at UFC 254 and who in his opinion is the biggest threat to Khabib.
“I didn’t really paid attention to him (Justin) until he dismantled Tony (Ferguson) because now he was real now he’s in front of us so then i paid attention and i saw how great he actually is and what a challenge he is you know that’s when i really paid attention”
“As per Mendez, Justin is the best kicker all the way around over at 155 division over everybody”
“I thought when I looked at him (Gaethje) that he was probably the second biggest threat, because I still to this day believe Conor (McGregor) was (the biggest threat). And the reason why I believe Conor was is because of his precision striking, but Justin (Gaethje) could easily prove me wrong and prove to be the toughest test we’ve ever had, but we have yet to seen that.”
Mendez then added, “But I know we’ve already seen Conor (Mcgregor), and that’s why I always say Conor If you think about it, who won a round against Khabib? Conor. And who’s given Khabib a tough time? Take the first round, he took Conor Down but how much damage did Khabib give him? Conor was very good there. So to me I had to give it to Conor for that. I haven’t seen Justin now obviously if i’ve seen justin already and we fought him already and we are victorious like i’m hoping then i can tell you 100 percent he was the toughest but right now i think in theory he’s number two.”
When Nurmagomedov and McGregor met in the octagon back in 2018, the Russian mostly dominated the fight before finishing the Irishman in the fourth round. A brawl erupted right after the finish as two signify that their rivalry was not yer settled.
Although Mendez thinks he’s only the second-biggest threat to Nurmagomedov’s belt, he does give Gaethje a lot of props.
“That guy ain’t quitting for nothing, that guy is a true warrior man he ain’t quitting. You gotta kill him to stop him. You’ve seen what type of person he is, you’ve seen what type of great warrior he is. You’ve seen the mentality he has, how can you not love him? Even if you don’t love him you have to respect him.”
Whether Javier Mendez thinks Justin Gaethje is the biggest threat to Khabib, he definitely considers him as a worthy opponent and a dangerous fighter. They are not taking him lightly.