American Kickboxing Academy’s head coach Javier Mendez has been known for grooming fighters into champions that have dominated the MMA world.
Amongst them are former champs Cain Velasquez and Luke Rockhold, current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and current UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. The sport had witnessed the greatness of many fighters like Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre,etc however Mendez believes Cormier should be considered an all-time great with Miocic win at UFC 226.
“I think [Cormier] is in the GOAT discussion only because the other people that should be there are disqualified — by their doing or not their doing, they got disqualified,” Mendez said. “So, to me, it’s a no-brainer as why he would be considered in that category. If you disqualify yourself, you disqualify yourself. Right or wrong, it doesn’t matter, you’re disqualified. So just from that point alone, a hundred percent he’s in the discussion in my opinion.”
Cormier however has a huge mountain to climb in UFC heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic. Mendez has a plan and will use Cormier’s biggest advantage which is wrestling.
“[Stipe has] great hands, too,” Mendez said. “Also, he has good power backing up, going forward — he’s extremely well-rounded, he’s got a good IQ. He’s got everything. And with ‘DC,’ what edges him out a little bit is in the wrestling. (He’s) a little higher wrestler. I think we have more striking opportunities with what we have, but the power factor goes to [Miocic], the height factor goes to him.
“But that’s nothing new to ‘DC.’ When he fought as a heavyweight for the 12 or 13 fights, he never lost a round in any of his heavyweight fights. The rounds that DC’s ever lost were in the light heavyweight division, but never in the heavyweight. Honestly speaking, I’m expecting that to happen again where he just dominates the heavyweights.”
Cormier if gets through Miocic, will be the only fifth fighter in the history to n belts in two different weight classes.