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Coach reveals that he doubted Khabib: “Wasn’t 100% sure”



Conor McGregor Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC Frontkick

Former lighweight champions Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov squared off in October 2018. Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie – USA TODAY Sports

In a recent YouTube video, former UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s head coach Javier Mendez revealed that he was a bit unsure about the Dagestani wrestler when he came to the American Kickboxing Academy more a decade ago.

”When I first met Khabib, I sensed greatness, but I wasn’t 100% sure of how far he would go because I didn’t think he listened well. Because I used to tell him relax, relax and he would go harder,” Mendez said.

However, the coach soon found out that it was the language barrier that made the future champion shift up the gear instead of taking it easy.

”It wasn’t until a few fights, or maybe it was a fight later, Khabib goes, ‘Coach, I didn’t understand when you used to say to relax. I thought you meant going harder,” Mendez said.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov retired undefeated

Khabib Nurmagomedov made his UFC debut back in January 2012, with a submission win over Kamal Shalorus. He then fought another twelve times in the promotion and won the vacant lightweight belt in April 2018.

Looking back at his career, Khabib named the fight against bitter rival Conor McGregor as his most important moment in the UFC.

“It was here, this arena, October 6, 2018,” Nurmagomedov said when he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. “Biggest fight in MMA history. I’m very happy I win this fight. I can lose any of my fights. But no way this fight.”

Read more: Khabib Nurmagomedov concerned about friend Kamaru Usman: “A lot of people don’t recover”

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