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UFC News: Khabib Nurmagomedov's coach talks about Conor McGregor's striking ahead of UFC 229

Soumik Datta
454   //    30 Aug 2018, 22:42 IST

Javier Mendez (left) training with Khabib Nurmagomedov (right)
Javier Mendez (left) training with Khabib Nurmagomedov (right)

What's the story?

While conversing with Eurobash Podcast in a recent interview, AKA striking coach Javier Mendez weighed in his opinions on Khabib Nurmagomedov's upcoming UFC 229 opponent Conor McGregor.

In case you didn't know...

Conor McGregor's last fight in the UFC was contested at the historic Madison Square Garden in Brooklyn, New York when the Irishman defeated now-former UFC Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez, in order to capture the UFC Lightweight Title for the very first time in his career.

However, due to McGregor's inactivity inside the Octagon, 'The Notorious One' was eventually stripped of his Lightweight Title as well as his Featherweight Title that made him shift his focus towards his boxing career, where he squared off in a dream showdown against veteran Floyd Mayweather - which ultimately ended in a defeat for the Irishman.

McGregor's return to the Octagon was further delayed as he found himself in trouble with the law right after his bus attack at UFC 223 that eventually got him arrested in Brooklyn, New York.

In the meantime, Russian fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov captured the UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 223 when he defeated Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision.

The heart of the matter

In the build-up to the upcoming UFC Lightweight Championship fight between Conor McGregor and current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, the latter's striking coach Javier Mendez is apparently planning to stay focused on the striking of the Dagestani fighter, as an avenue to the grappling.

“There’s no amount of time that we have that’s going to help us to try and get him to stand up. There’s no way possible. So, I’m not gonna say, ‘Oh yeah, we’re gonna get him ready’… come on…wake up…it ain’t gonna work.”- Mendez stated.

In addition, Mendez also noted that in preparation for the UFC 229 title fight, Khabib and his team will be looking to fight their strengths and will rather look to work on the weaknesses of The Notorious One and likewise.

"We have to fight our strengths, we have to find ways of opening the doors to where his weaknesses are and likewise. This is basically the classic grappler versus striker fight. Keep in mind that they can both grapple and they can both strike, it’s just one is better than the other at (each discipline). We’re the better grappler, he’s the better striker, but that doesn’t mean we won’t strike, it just means he’s better. It’s about who plays whose game.”


What's next?

Prior to the Lightweight Championship fight between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 on the 6th of October at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada both McGregor and Khabib will now go face-to-face against each other for the very first time in front of media.

Expect further details regarding this media event between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov within the next few months.

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Soumik Datta
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