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Islam Makhachev’s Special Game Over Khabib Nurmagomedov Revealed by Javier Mendez: “No One Else Would…”

Kritika Gayatri

Islam Makhachev’s Special Game Over Khabib Nurmagomedov Revealed by Javier Mendez: “No One Else Would…”

Khabib Nurmagomedov is known to be one of the toughest, undefeated and greatest fighters that the combat world has ever seen. Not just his skills but the complete dominance shown by him inside the fight cage is feared by many. There have been very rare instances where his opponent ever came an inch close to defeating him.

However, according to Javier Mendez who coached both ‘The Eagle’ and Islam Makhachev felt the latter had an edge ove the former.

During a recent appearance on Red Corner MMA for Jimmy Smith’s ‘Red Corner Talk’ show, Mendez shared his thoughts. He described his experience with Islam Makhachev and why he was the only one who gave a hard time to Khabib in sparring. Mendez said,

“When Islam first started training, he was the only person that actually gave Khabib any trouble sparring. No one else would give Khabib any trouble sparring. He was the only one that would actually win rounds against Khabib. No one else could ever do that.”

Mendez praised Makhachev’s striking skills and further explained what made him stand out from the rest during his training.

It is imperative to note that ‘The Eagle’ has faced a few of the big lightweight fighters from the division. He hardly struggled against any opponent and gave them a tough time. But on the other hand, it is surprising to know that Makhachev won rounds against Nurmagomedov during training.

Fighters who won rounds against Khabib Nurmagomedov

‘The Eagle’ was the longest-reigning UFC lightweight champion with a professional fighting record of 29-0-0. The Dagestani never tasted defeat in his career except a few rounds in his fights. He only lost rounds in his fights at UFC 229 and UFC 254.

During Khabib vs. McGregor at UFC 229, the Dagestani fighter dominated the Irishman in the first two rounds but lost in the third. However, he later went on to take over in the next round and defeated McGregor via submission in round 4.

Apart from this, Khabib also lost one round against Justin Gaethje in 2020 which was the last fight of Khabib’s MMA career. He lost the first round of the fight but later went on to defeat Gaethje via submission in round 2 at UFC 254.

The fight ended up proving Khabib’s supremacy inside the octagon. But soon after the victory, the Dagestani took a moment to announce his retirement which came out as a big shock for all.

With all that said, Khabib Nurmagomedov had a great career in the UFC. He is considered as one of the MMA GOAT due to his dominance inside the octagon.

About the author

Kritika Gayatri

Kritika Gayatri


Kritika Gayatri is a UFC journalist at The SportsRush. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and has created over 1200+ UFC web stories before joining The SportsRush. She has been covering the sport since 2021 but it was UFC 229 Khabib vs. McGregor that got her interested initially. She is a practising Mixed Martial artist and a trained judoka who loves anything that revolves around adventure and adrenaline. Beyond the octagon and the keyboard, she also excels in communication and conducting interviews. She loves to trek in the upper Himalayas and contributes to various sustainable social projects in the Buddhist monasteries.

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