Not only commentators and all spectators were surprised and taken aback after Khabib Nurmagomedov announced that the fight against Justin Gaethje was the last in his professional MMA career. Even his longtime coach Javier Mendez did not know the intention of his fighter.
If you look at the footage of Khabib's statement after the fight, you can clearly see the surprise on Mendez's face. He said something about how he welcomed and reacted to his retirement in an interview with Submission Radio.
He explained that he could not have expected so much because through preparations with Khabib he had not even talked about family and emotions. "I found out the moment he made a statement after the fight. My jaw dropped and I asked myself what was going on.
Khabib did me the best poker face in the world. He never once mentioned anything like it nor did I mention his father because I didn't want to raise the topic and make it sad." ".It was all a big shock to me. I initially said to myself it was my father's plan, okay.
But then he said it was my mother's plan. She didn't want him fights more without his father and he obeyed her. You know, I have great respect for that decision, "Mendez said, only to be asked afterward what Khabib said about it later in the locker room.
But the answer could not be given: "After the fight, we didn't mention it. I had no need to raise the topic. It's his decision, he decided to fulfill his mother's wish. If he had come to me and asked me what I thought about it, I would have told him, but I didn't feel the need." I fully support his decision.
Mendez is convinced that Khabib's decision is firm and that he does not see what must happen for him to change his mind. "Unless for some reason he changes his mind and attitude, I see no reason why he should come back.
He's not a person who says something without really thinking about it. Personally, I think this part of his life is over. Of course, anything is possible, and that I would love for him to come back, just like most fans. But I think he’s done and I personally would have no chance of convincing him of anything different, ”he explained.
He also commented on Khabib’s emotions from the end of the fight. After defeating Gaethje, the grand champion knelt in the middle of the cage and cried for a long time. Even his opponent hugged him and tried to comfort him.
In fact, everything that happened from the end of the fight to leaving the Octagon was very emotional and touching. "It meant a lot to him, look at all the tears he left after the fight. There was a lot of emotion, a lot of suffering.
He deserved the win and then he let it all out. Even before the fight, he told me his toe was broken, but the mind does not. I have known him since 2012 and I knew that he cannot be broken as long as his faith in God and family is strong, "Mendez added.