“It was a great game plan from Dustin to work the leg kicks”: Khabib Nurmagomedov’s coach Javier Mendez is perplexed Over Conor McGregor’s inability to deal with leg kicks
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s coach Javier Mendez breaks down the UFC 257 main event between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
The hype the UFC 257 garnered and what happened in its main event is still a hot topic to discuss. Conor McGregor’s TKO loss to Dustin Poirier has been reviewed by many analysts and observers and they all circled out the vulnerability in Conor’s fight stance.
Post the fight, it has become a widely known inference that Conor McGregor’s in-ring movement invited calf-kicks from Dustin Poirier, who made the most of McGregor’s flawed game plan and exploited his weakness to win the contest.
While the flow of scrutinies is at large, one of the sport’s most popular coaches, Javier Mendez has put forth his observations of the fight.
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Khabib Nurmagomedov’s coach Javier Mendez is perplexed Over Conor McGregor’s inability to deal with leg kicks
Javier Mendez, who is the founder of American Kickboxing Academy and the coach of the undisputed Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, is a fight frantic as well and often presents his views after the culmination of a big event. So, to do the same keeping UFC 257 in consideration, Coach Mendez appeared on Submission Radio and gave a breakdown of the UFC 257 main event.
“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 judgment on Conor’s part to not be prepared for that.”
Mendez raised questions on Conor McGregor’s preparedness for the fight and recalled how he at the time of UFC 254 cautioned Khabib about the threat of the leg kicks that his opponent Justin Gaethje would explore.
“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.”
Inactivity is a factor
On being asked if Conor McGregor’s inactivity affected his performance against Dustin Poirier, Javier Mendez did say that inactivity could be a factor, however, he is more convinced that the changes he made in his training regime have more to do with his loss.
“[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 said. “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.”
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