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"Khabib's another animal" - Javier Mendez on why he was sure Khabib Nurmagomedov would beat Justin Gaethje despite "worst training camp ever"

Javier Mendez explains why he knew Khabib Nurmagomedov would beat Justin Gaethje
Javier Mendez explains why he knew Khabib Nurmagomedov would beat Justin Gaethje
Harry Kettle

Javier Mendez has explained why he knew Khabib Nurmagomedov would beat Justin Gaethje despite a bad training camp.

In the lead-up to UFC 254, many fans thought there was a good chance Justin Gaethje could be the one to finally dent Khabib Nurmagomedov's record. Up to that point, he'd been able to amass a 28-0 unbeaten record and nobody had really come all that close to him.

In the end, 'The Eagle' went to Fight Island and once again proved why he's considered to be one of the greatest lightweights of all time.

Javier Mendez, who was there by his side as Khabib announced his decision to retire, recently explained how he knew his student would come out on top in Abu Dhabi:

“Khabib’s another animal in itself. A lot of people don’t realise what I realise and the people around Khabib realise that wrestled with him, that grappled with him - they realise what a beast he is. I’ve never seen anyone as good as Khabib. No one. He’s the best I’ve ever seen.”
“For me, why do I come out with so much confidence in a guy like that? Why did I say when he broke his darn toe, and he’s fighting Justin, 'Oh we’re gonna win this fight.' Worst training camp ever, and yet I was the most confident ever with this guy going into the fight, because his mind is so strong. That makes a big, big difference, and he loves to compete.”

Catch Javier Mendez's comments here:

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How did Khabib Nurmagomedov beat Justin Gaethje?

In the main event of UFC 254, Khabib submitted Gaethje at 1:34 in the second round via triangle choke. It went down in the record books as a technical submission, largely because 'The Highlight' refused to tap and instead was choked out.

The first round, and the early part of the second, saw Khabib constantly backing Gaethje up against the fence with a nice jab and consistent pressure with his takedown threat. Gaethje found the mark with a few shots of his own, as well as some leg kicks that appeared to be causing the champion some trouble.

One of the most emotional moments in sporting history 🙏Justin Gaethje goes over to console Khabib Nurmagomedov as he cries on the Octagon floor.This is MMA ❤ #UFC254 https://t.co/vj9qeWiq2X

Alas, when it got to the ground, the difference between the two men was incredibly stark. It didn't take long for Khabib to put an end to proceedings.


Edited by John Cunningham

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