Javier Mendes, the coach of former UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and top lightweight Islam Makhachev, admitted that the “Eagle” is stronger than his friend in terms of boxing skills.
Appearing on a live podcast streamed on YouTube, the AKA patriarch was asked if he thinks Islam Makhachev is a better striker than Khabib Nurmagomedov. In response, Javier Mendez said:
“Overall, yes. Better boxing? Khabib just put together the boxing, I would say [Islam is] a little bit behind. Khabib’s boxing was pretty good at the very end. People never got to see it because I was always telling him to grapple instead of punch. Because he was so dominant on the ground.”
“But overall, being able to use more weapons, Islam is the most proficient out of all of them. The whole combo, Islam is the most well-rounded. But as far as just the actual striking at the boxing level, out of all of them I have to put Khabib number one.”