Coach explains why beating Conor McGregor would do nothing for the legacy Islam Makhachev is looking to create

By Susan Cox - November 6, 2023

Coach Javier Mendez is explaining why beating Conor McGregor would do nothing for the legacy Islam Makhachev is looking to create.

Islam Makhachev Conor McGregor

Islam Makachev (25-1 MMA), the current lightweight champion, most recently defeated Alexander Volkanvoski (26-3 MMA) last month at UFC 294.

It was just recently that UFC commentator, Daniel Cormier, suggested a McGregor (22-6 MMA) vs Makhachev fight would make ‘all the sense in the world’.

Speaking on his ‘DC & RC’ podcast, Cormier stated:

“I think Islam should fight Conor McGregor next.” 

According to Makhachev’s coach, Javier Mendez, that analogy wouldn’t be the right move for the Russian.

Speaking in an interview with ‘Red Corner MMA’, Mendez said the following:

“I see that as a fight that would be interesting for Islam because he gets to do what Khabib (Nurmagomedov) didn’t finish, I guess you could say. He gets to come back and get on the same journey that Khabib did. It’s a great payday for Islam. I think it’s great if Islam wants it.”

Continuing, Mendez said (h/t MMAJunkie):

“If he doesn’t, then maybe going to the welterweight title is more appealing to him – to create a legacy that he wants, because beating Conor McGregor is not going to create the kind of legacy that Islam wants. Going after the welterweight title, that’s a legacy type moment. With Conor, it’s a money and it’s a hype thing, so I don’t know his thoughts on that. It’s never been brought up.”

Concluding, Mendez doesn’t believe ‘it’s a good fight’:

“In terms of matchmaking, I don’t know if you can say (it’s a good fight) from a real sport (perspective) – and this is not a real sport. This is entertainment first, because if it was a real sport, then Conor wouldn’t get the amount of opportunities he gets. So from a real sport (perspective), no, he needs to show that he’s worthy. But from an entertainment (aspect), yes, because he’s still the biggest name right now.”

The Irishman is expected to battle it out in the Octagon with opposing TUF coach Michael Chandler (23-8 MMA) in 2024.

Do you agree with Mendez that a fight between Conor McGregor and Islam Makhachev would do nothing for the latter’s legacy?

Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!


Conor McGregor Islam Makhachev UFC