Javier Mendez, the coach for Khabib Nurmagomedov, was a guest on Submission Radio recently to discuss the retired fighter.

The name Conor McGregor came up, along with other ideas of Nurmagomedov were to decide to return to the Octagon.

His reaction to McGregor/Poirier 2

“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. 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 judgement 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, big weapon.”

On Conor’s performance being affected by going to Portugal and changing things in his camp

“[Inactivity] does affect things, and that’s what he’s saying, but I also happen to know too, when you make changes in camp, when things weren’t broken, why change them? I heard he went to Portugal, or something like that, to do training. But what was wrong with where he’s always trained? I don’t know. It looks like he made a lot of changes, and why change when things aren’t broken? I’ve always told Khabib and all those guys, when you’re doing something good and you’re winning, why change it? Why try to change things up? There’s no need to change things if things are working. That’s what I’m thinking. I’m not saying I’m right; I’m just saying that’s what I’m thinking.”

On actually enjoying the trash talk between Conor and Khabib this time around

“The banter between them back and forth, I think is very professional. This time they’re rapping on each other. Which is great. Rap on me, rap on the coach, rap on Khabib, rap on the manager, leave everybody else out of it. And I think that’s cool. I think that’s kind of sportsmanlike. You know, it’s not sportsmanlike, but at least it’s as clean and sportsmanlike as you can when you only attack certain people, not everybody.”

“Yeah, cause he’s not talking about family, religion or country, he’s just talking about Khabib. That’s cool. Nothing wrong with that, nothing wrong with that. Talk about him. Say, ‘come on, step up’. He’s doing it right. I still don’t like him, but he’s doing it right.”

What a second fight with Khabib would have looked like for McGregor in 2021

“He would’ve got smashed. 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.”

On GSP being the only one to have a chance to bring Khabib back

“I didn’t even know if he [Conor] would’ve done great that Khabib would even fight him, cause he’s gotta ask his mother’s permission first. You guys gotta remember, the key thing is, he’s gotta ask his mother for permission too. And I didn’t see GSP being offered. And I thought the only way he was gonna come out of it was if GSP was in that picture. But based what it happened, I don’t see why he would want to come out and fight anybody. Why? Fighting the best is not gonna motivate him. He’s not looking at the money aspect of it. But if they can put GSP, if they can put GSP on the table, maybe there’s a chance there. And I’m not saying it will happen, because I don’t know, but I’m just saying GSP might be the only one. I’ve always thought it was GSP, because that’s what his father wanted, and I think if they can get that one worked out and he can get his mother’s permission, I think that one could work. But I don’t think anybody else is gonna work. Period”

“If he asked my opinion, I would say hold out for GSP, or retire. That’s what I would tell him. But he’s never asked me, so that conversation never took place.”

On the rematch with Conor McGregor never going to happen after UFC 257

“You’re never gonna get that rematch. Just like you’re never going to get the Tony and Khabib fight. That’s never gonna happen either. It’s not gonna happen. I mean, Khabib doesn’t need it. He seems fulfilled. And like I said, I think the only juicy part for him is what his father wanted, GSP. I’ve said it many times. And who knows, maybe that’s out of the question now. Maybe GSP doesn’t want it, maybe Khabib don’t want it now. I don’t know, cause I never talked to Khabib about what he wants, I’ve always listened to him.”

On Khabib wanting to train ahead of UFC 257 in case something did excite him enough to return

“I do know this, when we were in Abu Dhabi, he wanted me to train him. So, there was an indication that he might be fighting if something did get his fancy, where he would have gone, ok, I’m going to come out retirement, I’m gonna fight this guy.”

“At the present time, as far as I know, it isn’t gonna happen. But hey, listen, he hasn’t officially retired by Dana, and Dana hasn’t stopped trying. So, let’s just leave it at I don’t know. Because what if Dana offers him something he can’t refuse.”

“We were in Abu Dhabi before. After he met with Dana he started training with me.”

“It was nothing closely remotely to camp. He just [said] coach, let’s work pads. And I go, why? And he goes, just to work. And I go, bullshit, you might be thinking about it. And he goes, no, no, I just want to train. I go, alright, whatever, whatever. I don’t care, I’ll train you anyways, it doesn’t matter. You know, he wants to fight, he doesn’t want to fight, I’ll train him whenever he wants”

“I felt he was interested in a potential match if it was the right one. I did feel that. Otherwise, I don’t think he would have asked for me to train him. But I think after the performance of what happened, I don’t think there’s any interest anymore, period. And I could be wrong, but I don’t think there is.”

On Dustin never interesting Khabib to return

“No, no, no. Look, Dustin’s a great guy and I wish him the best. It would be kind of cool to see him and Gaethje fight. Two class acts, see who’s the better man.”

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