AKA head coach Javier Mendez will help prepare Khabib Nurmagomedov to get ready for his title fight with Conor McGregor at UFC 229, and he’s not underestimating the skill-set that the Irish superstar will be bringing to the Octagon on October 6th in Las Vegas.
“To me [Conor McGregor] is the best standup guy in the whole UFC, in my opinion,” Mendez told the Eurobash podcast.
“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 fact, Mendez goes as far as to acknowledge that there’s simply not enough to time for Nurmagomedov to prepare for what McGregor brings to the table as far as striking goes, but at the same time he’s keen to stress that the same applies in reverse when it comes to grappling.
“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 at (each discipline).
“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.”