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Javier Mendez reacts to Khabib Nurmagomedov saying he could return if a UFC Lightweight puts on an impressive performance

Javier Mendez (left); Khabib Nurmagomedov (right)
Javier Mendez (left); Khabib Nurmagomedov (right)
Johny Payne
ANALYST
Modified 18 Jan 2021
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American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) head coach Javier Mendez has suggested that although Khabib Nurmagomedov could return for a special fight, the Russian superstar would first need his mother’s permission to do so.

UFC Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from MMA in October 2020. According to UFC president Dana White, who had a meeting with The Eagle in Abu Dhabi, Nurmagomedov has stated that he’ll return only if one of the UFC Lightweight contenders puts on an impressive performance.

White revealed that the UFC Lightweight Champion has left the door open for a comeback to the sport of MMA. However, this comeback would likely come to fruition only if Nurmagomedov finds an opponent he deems worthy of facing him. Speaking to RT Sport MMA, Javier Mendez addressed these recent developments.

“I agree with that,” Javier Mendez said when asked if his star pupil Khabib Nurmagomedov could return for a special fight. “But, also, we have to remember one thing – He has to get his mother’s permission too; mother’s plan. Yes, she has to approve. If she doesn’t approve, he can’t say yes. He has to follow (his) mother. He said, ‘I promised my mother’. Well, his mother has to give him permission, as far as I’m concerned. And I would think knowing the great person that he is, if he does decide to come back after seeing somebody he feels (is) worthy, he’s going to have to ask his mother too.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)

Khabib Nurmagomedov had previously explained that he retired because his mother didn’t want him to continue his fighting career without his father by his side. Khabib’s father and lifelong coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, passed away in July 2020, and his mother subsequently asked him to end his fighting career.

The Eagle faced Justin Gaethje later, in October 2020 at UFC 254. He beat Gaethje via a second-round submission and then retired from MMA. Khabib Nurmagomedov indicated that he retired out of respect for his mother’s wish.

UFC President Dana White believes Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor 2 would be a great matchup

Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Conor McGregor in their first fight back in October 2018
Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Conor McGregor in their first fight back in October 2018

Despite having retired from MMA, Khabib Nurmagomedov is yet to be stripped of his UFC Lightweight title by the promotion. Furthermore, UFC President Dana White recently explained that if The Notorious One wins his upcoming UFC 257 matchup against Dustin Poirier, the rematch between McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov would be one of the biggest fights one could make.

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Conor McGregor is scheduled to face Dustin Poirier in a Lightweight bout that’ll headline UFC 257 on January 23rd (the UFC 257 main card starts on January 24th, at 7 am local time in Abu Dhabi, UAE).

Published 18 Jan 2021, 06:38 IST
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