Monday, January 24, 2022

Khabib’s Coach Criticizes Conor McGregor’s Preparation for UFC 257

Coach Javier Mendez does not understand what Conor McGregor and his team were thinking leading up to UFC 257.

At UFC 257, Dustin Poirier scored the upset when he defeated Conor McGregor via TKO in the highly anticipated main event. This would be McGregor’s second loss out of his three fights within a two-year period. The biggest story of the fight was the leg kicks that Poirier executed, which immobilized McGregor and made him easy pickings for Poirier in the second round.

Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s head coach Javier Mendez was among the 1.6 million-plus people watching the event, and he was aghast at what he was witnessing.

“When I saw Dustin start going for the leg kicks, I go, oh my God, Conor’s stance is not made for checking properly, leg kicks like that,” Mendez told MMA Fighting (transcription via Denis Shkuratov). “Especially calf kicks. So, I thought that was going to be a major problem and then when he hit Dustin with the good shot and Dustin took it, that’s when I kind of knew, oh boy, things are gonna change and sure enough they did. It was a great game plan from Dustin to work the leg kicks, calf kicks and it was a bad judgement on Conor’s part to not be prepared for that.”

Javier Mendez believes that Conor McGregor would have been better served to stay current with the battle trends that are prevalent in today’s MMA world. And as a coach, he cannot relate to putting his athlete in the position that McGregor found himself in last Saturday.

“I don’t understand how you cannot be prepared for something like that, when that’s what everybody’s going to,” Mendez said of the calf kicks. “Khabib, I told him, I reminded him every day that ‘Justin’s coming after your legs, Justin’s coming after your legs.’ Every day I was telling him that. And you would think that you would be reminded also because that’s a big weapon. Until fighters learn how to deal with it, it’s gonna be a big weapon.”

Do you agree with Javier Mendez’s harsh take on Conor McGregor’s pre-UFC 257 preparation?

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