According to Javier Mendez, Khabib Nurmagomedov has never told him that he is officially retired. It is unclear whether Mendez referred to when Nurmagomedov announced his retirement in UFC 254 or even after that day.
Mendez is the founder and head coach of American Kickboxing Academy (AKA), where the unbeaten UFC lightweight champion trains since 2012. All of Nurmagomedov's training camps for the UFC were held under Mendez's guidance.
In an interview with the YouTube channel "The Schmo" this week, Mendez revealed that Khabib Nurmagomedov never formally communicated to the coach about his retirement.
"But as of yet, he has never discussed [with me] why he decided to make the retirement speech, so he has never officially told me, 'Coach, I'm done.' Khabib Nurmagomedov never officially told me that," said Mendez.
Nurmagomedov made his last UFC performance in July 2020 when he defeated Justin Gaethje. The now-retired champion made the announcement while still in the octagon, justifying the decision with a promise that he made to his mother following his father's death.
Javier Mendez was discussing the possibility of Khabib Nurmagomedov returning to fight Georges St-Pierre
One of the main topics in the interview with "The Schmo" was the possibility of Khabib Nurmagomedov returning to fight Georges St-Pierre.
Fighting the former UFC welterweight champion is an old desire of Khabib Nurmagomedov since that was his deceased father's wish. Both fighters are grappling masters, and a final contest between the two would determine who sits on the throne of the "best grappler" in a way.
"Yeah, you know, the thing is: Georges is always in great shape as a true martial artist. Khabib is always in good shape; he is a true martial artist. So, hard to say, we can make what we want of that, we can say, 'Well, Khabib's father wanted that fight to happen,' and I know Khabib wanted that fight to happen, but who knows? I never had that conversation with him," explained Mendez. "I really can't say I know anything other than I can speculate, and speculation would be that if he does do it, it has to be for GSP. And it would have to be with his mother's permission, not the coach's permission, not the fighter's permission, nobody's permission but mother's permission. And he has the want it too, and I don't know that he wants it or he doesn't want it, because we have never discussed it, and this is not something I'm going to bring up to him. If he brings it up to me, then I will give him my opinion, and we'll leave it at that."
Who would be the winner of a bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Georges St-Pierre? Sound off in the comments.Published 31 Dec 2020, 04:42 IST