On October 6th we get to see a colossal bout go down in Las Vegas. Former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor will try to take back his lightweight title from current champ Khabib Nurmagomedov. If you’re thinking of writing McGregor’s chances off there is someone else who is not. Khabib’s coach.
Javier Mendez sees Nurmagomedov training up close as his coach and he feels that preparing his fighter for Conor’s striking isn’t an easy task. Here’s what he said via Eurobash Podcast via MMA Fighting.
To me (Conor) is the best standup guy in the whole UFC, in my opinion…He’s got incredible relaxation, he approaches it like a scientist, he knows how to read you, he knows how to bait you…he knows how to put you right into that trap and before you know it you’re caught sleeping…He’s a master, in my opinion, on the fighting arts and he’s also got a ground game — he’s good everywhere. I’m not sleeping on how great he is. I’m prepared for everything but he is a great fighter.
In some ways there are comparisons between the Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell match-up. A classic ground game expert against a striking wizard. Mendez continued…
There’s no amount of time that we have that’s going to help us to try and get him to stand up, there’s no way possible. So, I’m not gonna say, ‘Oh yeah, we’re gonna get him ready’… come on…wake up…it ain’t gonna work…We have to fight our strengths, we have to find ways of opening the doors to where his weaknesses are and likewise. This is basically the classic grappler versus striker fight. Keep in mind that they can both grapple and they can both strike, it’s just one is better than the other….We’re the better grappler, he’s the better striker, but that doesn’t mean we won’t strike, it just means he’s better. It’s about who plays whose game.
What do you think? Is he right? Who wins?