Khabib’s Coach Talks Rogan’s Criticism

The new UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, switched up his style during his UFC 223 fight against short-notice opponent Al Iaquinta, The undefeated champion decided halfway through the main event fight for the vacant title.

Joe Rogan, who is a big fan or Nurmagomedov was criticizing not only the strategy, but also the new champion’s stand-up skills. As a guest on The MMA Hour, Nurmagomedov’s head coach, Javier Mendez addressed those criticisms.

“I saw the fight last night with Joe Rogan [commentating] and he totally didn’t understand what the hell’s going on,” Mendez said Monday on The MMA Hour, “because he totally based that thing completely wrong. ‘Oh, he exposed Khabib. There’s a lot of holes in his game.’ There’s no holes in his game. He’s never been a stand-up guy, yet he’s gotten better, and if you don’t acknowledge how much better he’s gotten compared to the last time, then you’re not really doing your research. Because he switched southpaw on this guy, he even did a goddamn back kick, for God’s sake.

“He’s improving all the time and you need to acknowledge that. Don’t act like he’s got these holes in his game. Jesus Christ, do you think if he’s going to fight Nate Diaz, we’re going to stand with Nate Diaz? Do you think we have a chance [standing] against Nate Diaz? Do you think I think that? For God’s sake, no way. No way in hell are we going to fight with Conor [McGregor]’s stand-up too. Everybody’s got a different gameplan, and if you don’t change the gameplan according to what’s going on, you’re going to get checkmated.”

 

Mendez can understand where the concern is coming from, but believes those critics are missing the bigger picture.

“I think they’re 100-percent correct in the way they’re thinking, but let’s see how the gameplan plays out,” Mendez said. “Let’s see if we’re foolish enough to stand with Conor like that, or let’s see how much we’ve improved since then. That’s the one thing you saw from Khabib, let’s face it — when he was punching, he was punching one-two; he was dropping his hands; his chin was up high; he leaned back. So if Al would’ve been smart enough to come at him with threes and fours, then he could’ve potentially clipped us. But Al was doing ones and twos himself, he wasn’t doing too many combinations.

Mendez also told Ariel Helwani that he’s not quite concerned with Rogan’s commentary and feels he doesn’t need to say he’s sorry..

“I love Rogan, but yeah, if he’s apologized, he shouldn’t,” Mendez said. “He doesn’t need to apologize. Hey, that guy’s fantastic in my eyes. He says something, it causes controversy.

Original Story: MMA Fighting

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