UFC – Javier Mendez: If Khabib Beats GSP, He’s The Best Of All Time
American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez, is certain that a bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Georges St-Pierre would determine the greatest ever pound-for-pound fighter in MMA.
Khabib vs GSP To Determine The Greatest
Mendez has been Khabib’s coach starting in 2012; in which time he has helped the 31 year old become the UFC lightweight champion and extend his unbeaten record to 28-0.
Mendez believes that Khabib must now defeat all-time great St-Pierre to cement his legacy as the greatest fighter of all time. The renowned coach spoke to MMA Junkie about the possibility of having his man facing GSP in a long-awaited mega fight.
“Yeah, I think so, and so does Khabib,” Mendez said. “The person that beats GSP will be the best of all time; I think so.”
Khabib has made his intention of fighting GSP very clear over the past few months. Stating that — should he get past Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 — he wants to face the former two division UFC champion next April.
Although Dana White initially didn’t show any interest in the super fight, more recently the UFC president has said he’s on board with the idea.
GSP has been open about his interest in the fight, stating that he would be compelled to face Khabib, despite his three-year-long inactivity period.
Retiring At 30-0
After being questioned about the likelihood of the fight taking place, Mendez revealed that it is a real possibility for the Russian fighter.
“Yeah, it’s a big possibility,” Mendez said. “He might do that because all the times that I was with him and his dad, they’ve talked about those things: two more fights, 30-0.
“They want to a legacy fight, then be done and help the other guys that are starting their fighting careers. There’s great fighters, cousins of his who are great fighter like Umar and Usman Nurmagomedov. They’re his blood. They’re going to be great fighters. Islam Makhachev too.
“So he wants to help them get to the title. I don’t think he’ll fight beyond that, but anything is possible. I was a fighter too and when you’re finishing a career, you feel it in your heart, you want to fight more and it’s hard not to fight. I don’t think he’ll continue fighting, but anything is possible.”
Mendez also disclosed the motive behind Khabib’s desire to face GSP inside the Octagon. Despite the fight having the potential to be one of the biggest events in the sport’s history — and therefore a very lucrative affair — the AKA head coach guarantees that his fighter’s intentions have nothing to do with monetary compensation.
Leaving A Legacy For His Father
Instead, Khabib is pursuing this bout to establish his legacy and more importantly, to honour his late father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, who passed away due to COVID-19 complications last month.
“He doesn’t want that fight for money and that’s what his father wanted,” Mendez said. “He told me, ‘That’s what my father wants. What do you think coach?’ And I was like, ‘You know, if that’s what your father wants, we can do it, and if that’s what you want as well.’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah, I want to do it for my father, so I’m like, ‘Let’s do it.’
“But if he doesn’t want to end his career he can jump back in there. He’s young, he’s only 31, so he still has a more years of fighting. I’m not going to tell him he has to fight. I’m going to go with what he wants to do.”
Given the accolades of both men inside the sport, a fight between and Khabib and GSP could prove to be a massive event for fans around the world. Nonetheless, before making the bout official, the lightweight champion has to beat a serious threat in Justin Gaethje in a fight that is sure to be one for the books.
How do you think a fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Georges St-Pierre would play out?