Javier Mendez has all of the confidence in the world that two of his star pupils would be able to beat current lightweight UFC champ, Charles Oliveira.
Khabib Nurmagomedov won’t be able to test this theory because of his recent retirement but, Islam Makhachev is right there in terms of a title shot at 155 pounds. On February 26, Machachev is scheduled to main event against Beneil Dariush in a lightweight contender fight on a UFC Fight Night card. Securing a win in that fight would do a ton for Makhachev in earning that title shot.
During a fan Q&A on his YouTube channel, Mendez explained how he thinks it would go down in a potential match-up between the champ and his two students. (H/T mmajunkie.com)
“I know they both would beat Charles, in my opinion because look, they’re both my fighters,” Mendez said. “Stylistically-wise, Islam could strike, he can kick. Khabib wasn’t a great kicker. Khabib would have to go straight to the grappling with Charles and probably dominate him there. As a matter of fact, I know he would. I know Khabib would dominate him there, and I kind of feel, my personal opinion, as great as Charles is, I think Islam would dominate him there. too.”
However, in a recent interview with ESPN, Nurmagomedov praised Oliveira after his submission win over Dustin Poirier at UFC 269. He also said that he hopes Oliveira is still the champ when Makhachev gets his title shot.
Makhachev is currently on a nine-fight win streak at 155 pounds. He has finished his last three opponents with his last being a kimura win over Dan Hooker at UFC 267. His last lose came in 2015, when he got knocked out in the first round against Adriano Martins.
The full Q&A with Javier Mendez is available below.