AKA coach Javier Mendez opened up about Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski rematch

AKA coach Javier Mendez opened up about Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski and revealed that the UFC lightweight champion wants a rematch.

During his appearance on Ep.126 of Jibber with Jabar, Mendez shared his thoughts on the superfight that headlined UFC 284 this past February. He mentioned that although his fighter won the fight, Volkanovski was a much tougher matchup than they anticipated and that he gained more respect for the reigning featherweight champion.

He said:

“Was it a tough fight? Hell yeah. Was it tougher than I thought? Hell yeah. Did he [Alexander Volkanovski] gain my full respects? Hell yeah, he got my respect. But am I looking forward to the rematch if they have one? Hell yeah.” [40:18 – 40:30]

The AKA coach also mentioned that Makhachev would accept a rematch should the UFC want to go in that direction. Mendez mentioned that he is confident that the rematch will materialize with no issues, saying:

“We’re not dodging nothing. If they…UFC puts that match together, it’s gonna happen. It’s gonna happen willingly on both parties. They’re [Volkanovski’s team] gonna want it, we’re gonna want it and I would hope they [the UFC] would make it a huge event because that fight delivered.” [40:35 – 40:52]

It will be interesting to see when the promotion plans on booking a rematch as it will depend on whether they can successfully retain their respective titles. Volkanovski will be fighting interim featherweight champion Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290. Meanwhile, Makhachev is expected to fight when the promotion returns to Abu Dhabi later this year.

Check out the full video:

Javier Mendez praises Bellator lightweight champion Usman Nurmagomedov

Javier Mendez had a lot of praise for reigning Bellator lightweight champion Usman Nurmagomedov.

During the aforementioned interview, the AKA coach had a lot of praise for Nurmagomedov in terms of his talent level. He mentioned that the Bellator lightweight champion is the most skilled fighter he has ever coached. This is quite impressive given all the former champions that have trained under his tutelage at AKA.

He said:

“I’ve said it before when I trained him, that he’s got the most skill out of everybody I have ever trained in my whole entire life. And what has he done? He’s gone and proved it, he’s done everything. All his fights showcase great Jiu-Jitsu, great wrestling ability, great striking, great [mental work.]” [17:02 – 17:19]

Nurmagomedov is currently ranked 17th in the lightweight division.

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