Javier Mendez is well informed of the narrative heading into Khabib Nurmagomedov’s next UFC title protection.
The head coach of American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) hears the fan and media chatter about Nurmagomedov (28- MMA, 12- UFC) likely struggling with his hardest problem nonetheless versus a male regarded as by many to be the most effective defensive wrestler in the division, Justin Gaethje. The two are established to clash in a title unification bout at UFC 254, which usually takes place Saturday on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
Coach Mendez is informed Gaethje’s (21-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) skillset raises thoughts in the wrestling section for his pupil, with “The Highlight” possessing only been taken down twice in his seven-battle job with the UFC. The NCAA Division I All-American recently trained along with UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman but, regardless of Gaethje’s mat qualifications, Mendez suggests it’s tricky to prepare for Nurmagomedov’s model of large-tension grappling.
“I know he’s doing work with the welterweight winner, so he does have an individual fantastic doing the job with him, but it’s distinctive when you’re combating Khabib,” Mendez mentioned on Monday’s episode of Hablemos MMA. “It’s different. Let’s see what occurs, but he’s making ready properly, he’s getting ready with the winner and the winner is seriously excellent.”
Mendez admits there is an mysterious aspect with Gaethje as he has not beforehand confronted a fighter who predominately wrestles. But even though unknowns may possibly be perceived as dangerous, in this circumstance, Mendez feels it favors Nurmagomedov.
“The matter with Justin is, when has he applied wrestling?” Mendez said. “I’ve hardly ever found it. Just to get up, but he hasn’t used the wrestling. So let’s see what comes about. If we can not get him down, we have a combat. If we get him down there’s not likely to be a major trouble because he does not function on the ground, from what I have found. If you’re not functioning wrestling in your fights, it’s likely to be difficult in your very first combat given how massive the battle is and that he’s using on the master of the ground in Khabib. It’s heading to be tricky for him. However, if we just cannot get him down, it will be difficult for us.”
At the conclusion of the day, Mendez is self-confident in Nurmagomedov’s means to choose the struggle to the ground. The seasoned mentor believes “The Eagle” can acquire everyone down in MMA, which includes Gaethje.
“He suggests he’s rough to acquire down, so let’s see what transpires,” claimed Mendez. “I never assume it is heading to be as hard as he thinks, but it’s doable that it is hard to acquire him down. I never think it will, since Khabib is a learn at having the combat to the floor. Search, if you are an Olympic wrestler and it’s in MMA, he’ll consider you down. He’s the grasp of this. He is aware how to penetrate, how to enter with his putting, he is aware. It is diverse, it’s not the identical.”