Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev backed to dominate Charles Oliveira by Javier Mendez, who trains both fighters

  • Tom Ward
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev's grappling would be too much for Charles Oliveira

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev’s grappling would be too much for Charles Oliveira, according to coach Javier Mendez.

Nicknamed ‘Do Bronx’, Oliveira defeated Dustin Poirier at UFC 269 via third-round submission in December, successfully defending his lightweight title. 

The Brazilian currently holds the record for the most submission wins in UFC history.

But Mendez, the long-time coach of The Eagle, believes the 31-year-old would be in for a very rude awakening if he crossed paths with either of his star pupils. 

The American Kickboxing Academy chief reckons Nurmagomedov and Makhachev, 33 and 30 respectively, would use their years of wrestling experience to ‘dominate’ Oliveira on the ground. 

Mendez said on his YouTube channel: “I know they both would beat Charles, in my opinion because look, they’re both my fighters.

“Stylistically-wise, Islam could strike, he can kick. Khabib wasn’t a great kicker. Khabib would have to go straight to the grappling with Charles and probably dominate him there.

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev train together at American Kickboxing Academy

“As a matter of fact, I know he would. I know Khabib would dominate him there, and I kind of feel, my personal opinion, as great as Charles is, I think Islam would dominate him there too.”

“The stand-up is another situation where I guess Islam could stand more with him. Khabib can too because at the very end, to be honest with you, Khabib was really good in the stand-up.

“I just never wanted him to stand because if I have a fighter that I feel – and this is my personal feeling – is the best I’ve ever seen at 155 on the ground, why do I want to risk it? Why do I want to go the harder resistance when I’ve got the easier resistance to take him down?

“When I know that I have the best fighter in the world at 155 on he ground, why would I want to make him a stand-up guy when I know that he’s always going to be able to take him down and destroy them, which he’s proven every single time.”  

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Mendez also suggested that Brazil national hero Oliveira, 31, should accept the offer of a financially-rewarding mega-clash with Khabib’s mortal enemy Conor McGregor

He told Helen Yee: “Go for the money. The UFC is a business, they’re going to do what they’re going to do. So I would think that, look what Dustin did.

“What did Dustin do? Go for the title or go for the money? He went for the money.

“So, a lot of these fighters have attended a certain status, they show their worth by what they do, they go for the money whereas other fighters show their status with where their heart lies, where they go for the title.

“So in this particular case, I’m thinking, since he already has the title, he’s going for the money. Whoever is going to provide the most money for Charles is who I believe he will go with.”

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