Khabib Nurmagomedov’s coach says Conor McGregor rematch will ‘NEVER’ happen and warns Irishman he would get ‘smashed’ after Dustin Poirier KO
Conor McGregor will NEVER fight Khabib Nurmagomedov again after his debilitating defeat to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257.
That’s according to American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez, who believes the Irishman would have got ‘smashed’ by the Russian in a sequel.
McGregor ended his 12-month absence from the octagon last Saturday in a rematch with Poirier on Fight Island.
Having stopped ‘The Diamond’ in just a round back in 2014, the bookmakers tipped the Irishman to repeat the feat.
Poirier did not read the script, however.
Instead, the Louisiana-born brawler knocked a flat-footed McGregor out for the first time in his MMA career to completely derail his hopes and dreams for 2021.
A strong performance may have tempted Khabib out of retirement and into a rematch of their 2018 grudge match but, after being stopped, Coach Mendez has extinguished any brief hopes of that.
“He would’ve got smashed. Khabib’s gotten better,” Mendez told Submission Radio. “He would’ve gotten smashed. He would have gotten smashed. Straight up.
“Khabib’s better. He’s better than he was when they fought two years ago. Conor didn’t appear to be better. He’s regressed a little bit. Khabib’s gotten way better. He would have gotten smashed.”
“You’re never going to get that rematch,” Mendez concluded. “Just like you’re never going to get the Tony and Khabib fight. That’s never going to happen either. It’s not going to happen. I mean, Khabib doesn’t need it.
“He seems fulfilled. And like I said, I think the only juicy part for him is what his father wanted, GSP [Georges St-Pierre]. I’ve said it many times. And who knows, maybe that’s out of the question now.
“Maybe GSP doesn’t want it, maybe Khabib don’t want it now. I don’t know, cause I never talked to Khabib about what he wants, I’ve always listened to him.”
McGregor had never been knocked out before, with his one official knockdown in MMA actually coming at the hands of Khabib at UFC 229.
But after failing to check Dustin Poirier’s leg kicks, Mendez feels as though the lack of time spent in the octagon has proved costly for ‘The Notorious’.
He added: “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. 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 going to change. And sure enough, they did.
“And 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.”
“[Inactivity] does affect things, and that’s what he’s saying, but I also happen to know too, when you make changes in camp, when things weren’t broken, why change them? I heard he went to Portugal, or something like that, to do training.
“But what was wrong with where he’s always trained? I don’t know. It looks like he made a lot of changes, and why change when things aren’t broken?
“I’ve always told Khabib and all those guys, when you’re doing something good and you’re winning, why change it? Why try to change things up?
“There’s no need to change things if things are working. That’s what I’m thinking. I’m not saying I’m right; I’m just saying that’s what I’m thinking.”