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Coach: UFC 257 Showed Khabib Would Smash McGregor in Rematch

The chances of Khabib Nurmagomedov [1] and Conor McGregor [2] ever fighting again at this point, seem pretty, pretty slim. But, after seeing Conor get taken out at UFC 257, Khabib’s longtime coach believes the undefeated fighter would destroy the star in a rematch.

Image Credit: UFC / Twitter

Javier Mendez says McGregor would have got “smashed”

McGregor faced Dustin Poirier in the headliner of UFC 257, and was taken out by the latter in round two. Leading up to the bout, there was extensive talk about whether Khabib – McGregor 2 might materialize, if, Conor scored a big win.

Well, since UFC 257 went down, Khabib’s striking coach, Javier Mendez, spoke with Submission Radio [3]. While discussing what would have happened if Conor faced Khabib again, Mendez said this (quotes via MMA Junkie [4]).

“(McGregor) would’ve got smashed,” Mendez said. “Khabib’s gotten better. He would’ve gotten smashed.

He would have gotten smashed, straight up. Khabib’s better. He’s better than he was when they fought two years ago.

Conor didn’t appear to be better. He’s regressed a little bit. Khabib’s gotten way better. He would have gotten smashed.”

And while talking about Poirier’s calf kicks, and how pivotal they were in the bout, Mendez said this.

“When I saw Dustin start going for the leg kicks, I go, ‘Oh my god, Conor’s stance is not made for checking properly leg kicks like that,” Mendez said.

“Especially calf kicks. So, I thought that was going to be a major problem.

And then when he hit Dustin with the good shot and Dustin took it, that’s when I kind of knew, ‘Oh boy, things are gonna change.’

And sure enough, they did. And it was a great game plan from Dustin to work the leg kicks, calf kicks. And it was a bad judgment on Conor’s part to not be prepared for that.

“I don’t understand how you cannot be prepared for something like that, when that’s what everyone’s going to.

Khabib, I told him, I reminded him every day that Justin’s coming after your legs, Justin’s coming after your legs.

Every day I was telling him that. And you would think that you would be reminded also because that’s a big weapon.

Until fighters learn how to deal with it, it’s gonna be a big weapon, guys.”

Thoughts?

Now sure, some people, including McGregor boosters, might argue that you can’t draw conclusions from UFC 257 to how a rematch with Khabib would go. The argument would probably be that Khabib isn’t really known for his kicks and that against Conor, he would look to take the fight down again.

But, Mendez isn’t the only person to opine that Conor didn’t look like the force he once was at UFC 257. The question is, can he put together another run, fighting the division’s best?

All that aside, prior to UFC 257, Khabib repeatedly argued he has nothing to gain by facing McGregor again. Now that his rival has lost again, right now, a rematch seems like an impossibility.