The American Kickboxing Academy head coach sees the youthful Nurmagomedov (13-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) turning into a UFC champion within the subsequent two or three years. Mendez stated Umar will not be a completed product simply but, however he feels the 24-year-old could have a title run within the close to future and find yourself as champion at bantamweight, the place Petr Yan at present holds the belt.
“I’ve been saying it, in 5 – 6 fights, I anticipate him to be preventing for a title, and I imagine we’re seeing a brand new champion, 100%,” Mendez advised MMA Junkie. “He nonetheless has some enhancements to make, however he’s going to make them. And yeah, you’ll be seeing him with the strap in 5 – 6 fights from now.”
Nurmagomedov has been signed with the UFC for nearly a yr however only recently made his promotional debut. Sickness, to not point out the continued international pandemic, delayed his UFC debut, however Nurmagomedov was lastly capable of step within the octagon on Jan. 20 at UFC on ESPN 20. The unbeaten prospect defeated Sergey Morozov with a second-round rear-naked choke.
“It was very nice to lastly see him get this chance after so many issues have occurred,” Mendez stated. “It was good for him to do it as the identical date as Khabib – Jan. 20 is similar date Khabib entered (the UFC), and the choke was the identical as Khabib’s choke, so all these mixed, it was an unbelievable expertise.
“He got here in not a Khabib prodigy, he got here in as Umar. He’s simply himself, and he confirmed what nice expertise he has and variety in several strategies. However father’s plan remains to be greatest plan for Staff Eagle, and he confirmed that, too. He additionally confirmed these guys can strike, too.”
Though Nurmagomedov will not be precisely a duplicate of his famed champion cousin, the affect Khabib has had on Umar’s younger MMA profession has been big. It’s definitely an enormous assist to have arguably the very best light-weight within the historical past of MMA within the household.
“It’s every little thing; all of them look as much as Khabib,” Mendez stated. “He’s like an enormous brother and a job mannequin. He’s every little thing they need to be like, and he gives for them alternatives, whether or not it’s on the bodily or the psychological.
“He’s there for them, they usually’re nicely taken care of. He makes positive that every little thing is completed proper for them, to allow them to’t be nothing however profitable with him due to all of the data and help he offers them.”
Hearken to the complete interview with Mendez within the video under.