Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor is one of the most intriguing matchups and fans expect to see a clash of opposing styles at UFC 229.
According to coach Javier Mendez, who has been working extensively on Khabib’s striking at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California, ‘The Eagle’ is not afraid to engage with McGregor on the feet.
“Khabib’s striking has come along really well,” Mendez said in a recent interview with MMA Fighting. “I put him in with pro boxers – he handles it really easy, no problem. A lot of people underestimate his standup, and they will see that he’s got really good standup. But, that doesn’t mean that we’re gonna go in there with that attitude. Not with a great striker like Conor. But that doesn’t mean Conor should go in there thinking that he’s just gonna wrestle. Oh no. He’s gotta watch out.
“He has to, he has to stand up with him,” Mendez said when asked if Khabib would be willing to engage McGregor on the feet. “You can’t just go out and take Conor down. Conor’s a master, too. He’s a great fighter for a reason, so we know there’s gonna be some standup. There has to be. There’s no way around it.”
UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor takes place a week on Saturday, on Oct. 6, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.