Javier Mendez: Conor McGregor was a bigger threat to Khabib than Justin Gaethje

Javier Mendez, head coach of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, has long insisted that Conor McGregor was his fighter’s biggest test.

With UFC 254 and a highly-anticipated showdown against Justin Gaethje just a day away, Mendez stands by this view. While many observers believe that the violent, fan-friendly Gaethje represents the biggest threat to Khabib’s lightweight reign, Mendez classified Gaethje as the “second-biggest threat” (with McGregor having been the biggest).

Mendez cited McGregor’s “precision striking” as why he feared him the most, but was complementary of Gaethe as well: “But Justin could easily prove me wrong and prove to be the toughest test we’ve ever had.”

Mendez also cited McGregor’s performance in his fight against Khabib, noting that he performed better compared with Khabib’s other opponents.

Nurmagomedov defends his undisputed lightweight belt against Gaethje on Saturday at UFC 254 at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.

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