UFC 223 is finally in the books. The build-up to what was being touted as potentially the best UFC fight card of the year, was rather entertaining and had plenty of ups and downs. However, the actual event wasn’t really able to fulfil the big expectations it had promised. However, one thing which did stand out from the event was UFC colour commentator Joe Rogan’s commentary on Khabib Nurmagomedov. Rogan’s commentary stood out of the blue and was deemed as biased by many fans and pundits alike. Many people criticised Rogan for his unfair criticism of Nurmagomedov. However, in a recent interview Javier Mendez, the coach of “The Eagle” has given his views on Rogan’s commentary.
Mendez was recently a guest on MMA Fighting’s, The MMA Hour. He expressed his displeasure with Rogan’s comments and also discussed why the Russian played a striking battle with Al Iaquinta instead of taking him down. Here’s what he had to say:
I saw the fight last night with Joe Rogan [commentating] and he totally didn’t understand what the hell’s going on, because he totally based that thing completely wrong. ‘Oh, he exposed Khabib. There’s a lot of holes in his game.’ There’s no holes in his game. He’s never been a stand-up guy, yet he’s gotten better, and if you don’t acknowledge how much better he’s gotten compared to the last time, then you’re not really doing your research. Because he switched southpaw on this guy, he even did a goddamn back kick, for God’s sake.
He’s improving all the time and you need to acknowledge that. Don’t act like he’s got these holes in his game. Jesus Christ, do you think if he’s going to fight Nate Diaz, we’re going to stand with Nate Diaz? Do you think we have a chance [standing] against Nate Diaz? Do you think I think that? For God’s sake, no way. No way in hell are we going to fight with Conor [McGregor]’s stand-up too. Everybody’s got a different gameplan, and if you don’t change the gameplan according to what’s going on, you’re going to get checkmated.
Let’s see if we’re foolish enough to stand with Conor like that, or let’s see how much we’ve improved since then. That’s the one thing you saw from Khabib, let’s face it — when he was punching, he was punching one-two; he was dropping his hands; his chin was up high; he leaned back. So if Al would’ve been smart enough to come at him with threes and fours, then he could’ve potentially clipped us. But Al was doing ones and twos himself, he wasn’t doing too many combinations.
That’s not something Conor’s going to do. If that ever happened, Conor’s going to throw combinations because he’s schooled enough in the art of boxing that he’s going to come out, he knows one-twos are aren’t enough.
You can read the full interview here.