Javier Mendez confirmed Khabib Nurmagomedov started his coaching camp for UFC 254 with a keep in hospital for mumps and likewise broke his foot in simply his second sparring session.
The American Kickboxing Academy head coach helped ‘The Eagle’ to assert a second-round submission of Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 on Saturday night.
Nurmagomedov appeared unimaginable from the very first bell on Struggle Island in Abu Dhabi as he locked in a triangle choke inside seconds of a sometimes aggressive takedown to retain his light-weight title.
Nevertheless, the preparations had been lower than perfect for the bout from the very starting, and Mendez, who has labored with Khabib for greater than a decade, had an ever larger duty following the passing of Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap.
After 13 months away from the octagon, the Russian reluctantly returned however fell ailing earlier than showing as a visitor of honour on the inaugural MMA event held in his father’s reminiscence in Moscow on September 9.
“He obtained the mumps, I suppose, the day earlier than his father’s occasion in Russia,” Mendez informed Submission Radio. “So he got here [to camp] with the mumps and he tried coaching a few days, actually mild.
“However then he obtained so sick he needed to be hospitalised. He was within the hospital for 3 days. He comes out, and I’m like going, ‘I’m actually s*******, man.
“I’m going, ‘oh man, we’re preventing such a terrific warrior like Justin and we’re already beginning off on a foul foot…this actually sucks.”
The 32-year-old duly missed two weeks of coaching for the bout in opposition to interim champion Gaethje, however was then compelled to face up to one other fortnight of inactivity after breaking his toe upon his return to sparring.
“We needed to get some sparring in as a result of with out sparring you don’t know the place you’re at,” Mendez defined. “We’ve one sparring session.
“He appeared OK. Not how I wished him to look, however he appeared OK. And the second sparring session he was trying nice, and swiftly, halfway within the second spherical, growth, he stops.
“I am going, ‘what the heck occurred?’ Broke his freaking toe. Now we now have to attend extra time for him to heal earlier than we are able to begin coaching once more. So that basically jacked all the things up.”
Instantly after defeating Gaethje with the superbly executed triangle, Khabib confirmed his 29th skilled victory was his final combat and he would honour his mom’s needs to stroll away from the game.
Mendez claimed Khabib’s unimaginable psychological energy allowed him to get via this combat week and full his father’s dream of retiring because the undisputed and undefeated king of the 155lbs division.
“Six days out earlier than the occasion, he stated, ‘coach, my toe could also be damaged, however my thoughts just isn’t,’” recalled confidante Mendez.
“We labored on stuff like that without end from his father. To me, when he stated that my thoughts just isn’t [broken], we knew that we had been successful this combat, it doesn’t matter what.
“We had the worst luck ever for this camp. It was unimaginable how unhealthy it was.
“Each camp has issues and we had our share on this one. However he was prepared, mentally and bodily, to go.”