After seeing his performance at UFC 257, world renowned trainer Javier Mendez believes Conor McGregor would get ‘smashed’ in a rematch with UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Dustin Poirier avenged his UFC 178 loss to McGregor by stopping him in the second round of the main UFC 257 event. He softened the Irishman up with crushing calf kicks, before putting him away with heavy blows to the head.
Not Prepared For Leg Kicks
McGregor’s team has received a lot of criticism for not preparing enough for leg kicks, especially when his stance is so vulnerable to them. Speaking to Submission Radio (as transcribed by Denis Shkuratov), Mendez shared his views on the matter.
“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 said. “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.
“I don’t understand how you cannot be prepared for something like that, when that’s what everybody’s going to. 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.”
Changes In Camp
McGregor spent the major portion of his training camp on a secluded island in Portugal, with his team. Including his coaches John Kavanagh and Owen Roddy, and three SBG Ireland teammates. While the two division champion cited inactivity as the major reason for his loss, Mendez believes changes in his camp also had a part to play in it.
“[Inactivity] does affect things, and that’s what he’s saying, but I also happen to know too that when you make changes in camp, when things weren’t broken, why change them?” Mendez shared. “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.”
Mendez, who has previously stated that McGregor was Khabib’s toughest opponent, said that if the two were to rematch right now, the Dublin native would get ‘smashed’ now.
“He would’ve got smashed,” Mendez said. “Khabib’s gotten better. He would’ve got smashed. He would have got 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.”
Do you agree with Javier Mendez’s comments on Conor McGregor?