UFC: Javier Mendez Talks Khabib vs McGregor 2 And Cormier vs Miocic 3
One of the most eagerly anticipated fights in UFC history is set to go down on April 18th in the UFC 249 main event, when Khabib Nurmagomedov defends his lightweight title against Tony Ferguson. The two have been scheduled to meet four times previously but each time, disaster has struck. Conor McGregor believes disaster will strike again and has stated that when it does, he will be ready to step in.
Meanwhile, UFC president Dana White has confirmed that McGregor will face the winner of the UFC 249 main event. Despite this, Team Khabib have remained adamant that the former two division UFC champion doesn’t deserve a rematch.
Speaking to MMA Junkie however, Javier Mendez acknowledged that Khabib will have to fight whoever the UFC tell him to fight.
“Let’s not be naive and think that we’re in control. We’re not in control. We can control what we do, but the organisation controls who you fight and who you don’t fight.”
One thing Mendez can control though is Khabib’s preparations for his UFC 249 showdown with Ferguson. The man he believes truly deserves to challenge his man for the UFC lightweight title.
“I think that would have to be a Khabib question because he’s the one that has to make that decision if that was to arrive, and my thought process is to not think that way because I want to think that it’s going to be Tony and they’re going to fight. I said this from the first interview I did right after he beat Conor, they asked what’s next, I said Tony. Tony deserves it, Tony needs to be next in line, and that was a while back, and then Tony didn’t get it, Dustin [Poirier] got it.”
While Mendez isn’t keen on a Khabib vs McGregor rematch, the same can’t be said for a Daniel Cormier vs Stipe Miocic rematch.
After Cormier knocked out Miocic at UFC 226 to win the heavyweight title, Stipe then stopped ‘DC’ at UFC 241 to recapture the belt. Mendez doesn’t want to sound like he’s making excuses but insists his man wasn’t fully recovered from having surgery, going into the rematch.
“Well, you know, we all make excuses, we all say this and that, and I’m good at making excuses, too, you know, because I’ve done it. But the bottom line is I like to tell the truth. It does come out as an excuse, but Daniel just did have surgery not too long after that fight. He was not one hundred percent going in.
“He was good. He was ready for the title bout, don’t get me wrong, but he wasn’t the same as he was the first fight, straight up. And I know it doesn’t sound good to say that, but I’ll take the heat. It’s fine, blast away, I’m fine with that. It’s the truth, though.”
Mendez does however give Miocic credit for his performance at UFC 241. Adding that it’s only right that the UFC make the trilogy next.
“Stipe won fair and square. He hit beautiful body shots. He recovered. He was losing all the rounds; he recovered fantastic. I mean, hey, if I’ve got to say anything, man, props to him.
“He came back from adversity and he pulled it off. So man, there’s a lot to be said for how he did; only a true champion can do that. Champion of champions, they do that, and he did that. So they’re both in the same categories of being champions of champions, you know. And they both pulled it off and they both proved it. So a trilogy fight would be a great one between two great champions.”
Although Miocic’s agent Jim Walker recently said that his man wants to defend his title against a fresh challenger next, Stipe himself, said that he will fight whoever the UFC wants him to. According to Dana White, that will be Cormier.
Cormier has said that he is only interested in fighting Miocic and should that fight not come about, he will hang up his gloves. Which Mendez himself echoed.
“He’s set on Stipe. And if he doesn’t get Stipe, then that will probably be it. So that would be in the best interest of the UFC, if they want to save one marquee fight, which is a great trilogy – one of the best trilogies they’ve had.
“So they’re both one-one, so it’s a great trilogy fight in the heavyweight division. I think the UFC is very smart, and I would believe and I’m one hundred percent thinking they’re going to say that’s the fight to make.”
Do you want to see a trilogy fight between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic? And if so, who do you think will leave the Octagon as the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion?