Khabib Nurmagomedov is never going to lose according to a decorated MMA coach.
The undefeated UFC lightweight champion is set to meet Conor McGregor in the main event of October 6’s UFC 229. It could end up as the biggest pay-per-view event in UFC history.
That result may not be due to the amount of pre-fight hype, however. There’s actually been precious little in the way of prominent promotion only a month out. Nurmagomedov and McGregor’s pre-installed beef may be what promotes the fight due to its heated backstory. McGregor infamously stormed the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, earlier this year days before Nurmagomedov won the lightweight title at UFC 223.
The Stage Is Set
‘The Notorious’ has cleared up his legal issues. The undefeated Russian champ remains his focus now, and we haven’t seen much from the former champ. We have seen a decent amount from Nurmagomedov’s head coach Javier Mendez. AKA front man Mendez recently admitted there was no way “The Eagle” could hang with McGregor’s striking.
That doesn’t mean he thinks his star fighter will lose. Mendez recently offered the view that Nurmagomedov will never be defeated on MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast. The champion will find a way to win no matter due to his mental toughness:
“I’m of the belief that Khabib’s mental strength is so strong that I personally feel that he’s never going to lose. I really don’t — I don’t think he’s ever going to lose. He’s going to find whatever he needs to do to win, whether he does it my way or does it his way, he’s going to find a way to win and that’s just what he does.”
A Focused Gameplan
Mendez then opened up on their gameplan for McGregor. The longtime head coach said he and Khabib are putting together a solid plan with intense, isolated focus:
“Basically it’s just me and him, myself and Khabib. We go through the gameplan and I structure it. I’ve mostly been the one that structures all of the gameplans, except for with Daniel [Cormier], it’s myself and Bob Cook. I’ve been doing all the gameplans, the other coaches do a fantastic job and they fall into place where they’re needed, but the gameplan is usually always me.”
AKA’s famed owner then dove into the mental aspects of a fight this huge. He isn’t worried about Nurmagomedov getting flustered. McGregor may be a master at mental warfare, yet Mendez insists he’ll find his equal in the champ:
“I’m not going to have to worry about keeping [Nurmagomedov] in check. He is so mentally strong that it’s not going to be an issue at all. Like I said, Conor is going to press his buttons, but it doesn’t matter. I believe Khabib is going to stay cool throughout the whole thing,” Mendez said.
“He’s going to dish it out as good as he gets it, and trust me, Conor’s going to give it to him because Conor is a master at playing the game. He’s going to find an equal mental sparring partner as well as physical. This fight is going to be mental and physical, outside the fight and inside the fight, they’re both going to fight for the advantages.”