American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez told in a interview that he talked to Nurmagomedov about McGregor’s pre-fight antics as soon as the UFC 229 title fight was a done deal. He said that Conor McGregor has not gotten inside the UFC lightweight champion’s head — and he never will.
“I said, ‘Look, he’s gonna play with you, he’s gonna hit every button, he’s gonna hit religion, politics, family. You can’t let it affect you,’” Mendez said earlier this week. “That’s [McGregor’s] game, that’s what he does, and he’s a master at that — I wish he wouldn’t do it, but that’s who he is.”
“We’ve talked about it for months now that this is what was gonna happen. So when it did happen, he was prepared for that,” Mendez said. “I said, ‘If you’re not gonna fight back with him, then stay relaxed, stay calm, and just smile at him. If you’re gonna do anything, do that. Don’t fight with him.’
“That’s not Khabib’s style, so let’s not go there. That’s why there was no confrontation; people might have expected Khabib to come back at him. He was just like, ‘Hey, if he’s gonna not let me talk, I’ll just be quiet.’”
Nurmagomedov and McGregor are set to meet at UFC 229, which takes place next Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.