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 power.

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 likely one of the best 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 instructed Yahoo Sports activities on Friday, not lengthy after information of the the 57-year-old Nurmagomedov’s demise in Russia as a consequence of problems 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 usually. Most dad and mom who ship their son to you, who’ve far much less credentials than [Nurmagomedov] did, intervene and provides their opinions. He was not that approach.”

Mendez stated he has coached “numerous” fighters who had been begun within the sport by Abdulmanap. All of them, Mendez stated, had been glorious grapplers who had 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 12 months in Abu Dhabi, when Khabib submitted then-interim light-weight champion Dustin Poirier within the second spherical to retain the belt.

Mendez stated Abdulmanap had a profound affect upon him.

“He was a man in a management place who was an excellent chief,” Mendez stated. “He did nice issues for the neighborhood [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 solution to attempt to assist.

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

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

“It is a nice loss,” Mendez stated. “Everybody has a lot respect for Khabib, and his father raised him to be the person that he’s turn out 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 immediately.”

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

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