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Coach: Khabib Nurmagomedov’s knee injury was a ‘freak accident’

AKA owner and head coach Javier Mendez explains how Khabib Nurmagomedov’s injury came about.

Several days ago, the UFC 187 PPV event was dealt another strong blow when it was announced that Khabib Nurmagomedov had once again injured his knee and was out of his feature fight against Donald Cerrone.

At the time, Khabib was in San Jose training at the American Kickboxing Academy, where he completes his training camps ahead of UFC bouts. His coach, Javier Mendez, revealed that the Dagestani standout's accident came as a surprise to them, as no one had made contact with him when the injury took place.

"He was sparring and no contact was actually made," Mendez told's Luke Thomas. "He took a step back and as he stepped back, his knee went out on him. It was the same knee, and the thing is, when he came to training, he was about 90% (recovered) so we were trying to work around the surgery. It just didn't hold."

On Thursday's edition of UFC Tonight, Ariel Helwani revealed that Nurmagomedov was scheduled to undergo surgery on his knee and would be sidelined for anything between 4-6 months. Mendez believes Khabib should make it back to the Octagon in five months overall.

"I'm thinking 2-3 months of rehab and then he can start training. So I think five months would be about right."

The timing of the injury is quite curious as well, as it is on the heels of UFC President Dana White's "stone age" comment with regards to gyms such as AKA. White claimed that injuries were the doing of traditional gyms of the sort and that they were to blame for the consistent injury trend in the promotion. However, Mendez believes it was nothing more than a "freak" occurrence.

"It is a freak accident. As far as Dana White's comments go, he didn't mean anything like that. All he's saying is that we as a sport need to watch our fighters and be more careful. We need to upgrade and educate ourselves to become better coaches for our fighters, because without a healthy fighter, no one wins."