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UFC 254: Khabib ‘destroyed everybody’ on first day in gym and thought ‘relax’ meant ‘go harder’ due to lack of English


KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV'S trainer revealed how the UFC superstar showed no mercy in the gym due to a lack of English.

Coach Javier Mendez has helped inspire the Russian to an undefeated 28-0 record ahead of his title showdown with Justin Gaethje tonight.

Now considered one the best in the business, Mendez reveals how he first spotted Khabib's remarkable talent at the American Kickboxing Academy gym in 2012.

Speaking to The National News, he said: "The very first day he came into my gym. He destroyed everybody. He just smashed everybody.

"He didn't really understand any English whatsoever.

"The funniest thing is that people would ask, ‘How good is Khabib?’ I'd go, ‘Man, that guy's unbelievable.

"I just wish he'd listen. Because every time I tell him 'relax, relax, the guy goes crazy on me’.

"Well, later he comes back and goes, ‘Coach, I don't understand. I thought that meant go harder. So I used to go harder’.

“People don’t really understand when I tell him I’ve never seen him lose a sparring session. Everybody loses sparring sessions. Not him.

"You might win a round or so. I've had that happen, but they don't win the session."

Khabib is within touching distance of fulfilling his late father’s dream of retiring after 30 unbeaten fights.

And Mendez exclusively told SunSport how Tony Ferguson could be next in line after the pair had FIVE fights scrapped.

Ferguson then lost the interim title fight after losing to Gaethje in May.

Mendez said: "Tony would be a good reason to keep Khabib on track. In his heart I think Khabib wants to give Tony the opportunity.

"But I don't think the UFC will give Tony the fight without going back and beating somebody first."

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje look shredded on scales as UFC 254 rivals both weight-in at 155lbs

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