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Islam Makhachev’s Coach Opens up on Whether He Should Accept Ilia Topuria’s Challenge- “I’m confident that that’s what Islam wants”

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Javier Mendez, Islam Makhachev’s coach and the head coach at American Kickboxing Academy, recently expressed his opinion on the potential matchup between Islam Makhachev and Ilia Topuria. While Topuria has been pushing for a lightweight title shot against Makhachev, Mendez believes there are other challenges that Makhachev should prioritize.

Ilia Topuria’s Push for a Lightweight Title Shot

Ilia Topuria, an up-and-coming fighter, has been vocal about wanting to face Islam Makhachev for the lightweight title. However, Mendez doesn’t share the same enthusiasm. He suggests that Topuria should pump the brakes on his quest for a title shot and focus on other opportunities.

Bigger Challenges Await Islam Makhachev

Mendez acknowledges Topuria’s talent and accomplishments but emphasizes that Makhachev has more significant challenges ahead. According to Mendez, if Makhachev were to engage in another champ vs. champ fight, it would be better for him to move up in weight. Mendez’s preference is clear: he believes Makhachev should face the welterweight champion rather than Topuria.

“You know what, for me, if Islam were to do another champ vs. champ fight, it’s better for him to go up in weight,” Mendez told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “If we had the choice, if UFC told us we could fight with the UFC welterweight champion or Topuria, we’d choose welterweight. That’s what I want. I’m confident that that’s what Islam wants, too.”

UFC’s Decision Matters

Mendez downplays Topuria’s request, stating that it’s ultimately the promotion (UFC) that decides the fighters’

next moves. While Topuria may want the fight, Mendez asserts that the UFC’s choices take precedence. Fighters don’t get to pick their opponents; the promotion offers matchups, and they can either accept or decline.

Mendez also points out that Topuria needs to accomplish more in his weight class before challenging for a second belt. He compares this situation to Makhachev’s desire to move up in weight. The UFC didn’t allow Makhachev to pursue a second belt, emphasizing that the promotion’s decisions dictate the fighters’ paths.

Read More- Sean Strickland Reveals The Actual Reason Why His Bout With Khamzat Chimaev Did not Materialize- “Something about burqas and no bikinis and sh*t doesn’t sound like my place”

 

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Islam Makhachev's Coach Opens up on Whether He Should Accept Ilia Topuria's Challenge- "I’m confident that that’s what Islam wants" - Islam MakhachevIslam Makhachev's Coach Opens up on Whether He Should Accept Ilia Topuria's Challenge- "I’m confident that that’s what Islam wants" - Islam MakhachevIslam Makhachev's Coach Opens up on Whether He Should Accept Ilia Topuria's Challenge- "I’m confident that that’s what Islam wants" - Islam MakhachevIslam Makhachev's Coach Opens up on Whether He Should Accept Ilia Topuria's Challenge- "I’m confident that that’s what Islam wants" - Islam MakhachevIslam Makhachev's Coach Opens up on Whether He Should Accept Ilia Topuria's Challenge- "I’m confident that that’s what Islam wants" - Islam Makhachev

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