Not lengthy after a younger Khabib Nurmagomedov got here to coach at his American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California, Javier Mendez welcomed the fighter’s father, Abdulmanap, to the ability.

Nurmagomedov at that time was a prospect of nice promise, and his father had coached him from the start. Abdulmanap stayed at AKA for a month and one factor stood out to Mendez.

“This man is among the biggest MMA coaches ever and never one time did he intervene with the best way I used to be teaching his son or inform me what to do or something,” Mendez advised Yahoo Sports activities on Friday, not lengthy after information of the the 57-year-old Nurmagomedov’s loss of life in Russia as a result of issues from COVID-19 was introduced.

“As nice of a coach as he was, as nice as he knew his son was going to be within the UFC, he simply stayed away and noticed and let me do my job. You don’t discover that always. Most mother and father who ship their son to you, who’ve far much less credentials than [Nurmagomedov] did, intervene and provides their opinions. He was not that manner.”

Mendez mentioned he has coached “numerous” fighters who have been begun within the sport by Abdulmanap. All of them, Mendez mentioned, have been glorious grapplers who have been extremely disciplined and motivated and among the many hardest employees he’d coached.

Abdulmanap and Mendez labored Khabib’s nook collectively for UFC 242 final yr in Abu Dhabi, when Khabib submitted then-interim light-weight champion Dustin Poirier within the second spherical to retain the belt.

Mendez mentioned Abdulmanap had a profound influence upon him.

“He was a man in a management place who was an awesome chief,” Mendez mentioned. “He did nice issues for the group [in Dagestan, Russia]. He was all the time striving to make issues higher for the folks. He did so many humanitarian issues and later, he obtained concerned in politics so he had one other method to attempt to assist.

“On high of that, you’re speaking about one of many biggest MMA coaches of all time. He was only a super coach. He instilled self-discipline in all of his fighters. He wasn’t a management freak by any means and he knew methods to get the most effective out of individuals. However he was strict and since the fighters revered him a lot, they didn’t typically get out of line.”

Mendez mentioned he hadn’t spoken on to Khabib, however mentioned they left voice messages for one another.

“This can be a nice loss,” Mendez mentioned. “Everybody has a lot respect for Khabib, and his father raised him to be the person that he’s grow to be. I hoped God would give us a break and permit him to get better, however I woke as much as this horrible information as we speak.”

UFC light-weight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and coach Javier Mendez in 2017. (Picture by Mike Roach/Getty Photographs)

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