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Coach Javier Mendez says Conor McGregor is still Khabib’s biggest threat: ‘His boxing is special’

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“And finally [the] number one contender for me is still Conor. His boxing is special, that’s his chance.”

Many fans think Khabib Nurmagomedov is a terrible stylistic matchup for Conor McGregor but, according to American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez, ‘The Notorious’ is still the biggest threat to Khabib’s championship throne.

McGregor, the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champ, was submitted by Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 but the Irishman did take a round from Khabib, besting the undefeated Dagestani in round three.

Nurmagomedov dominated the majority of the contest, however, and went on to submit McGregor in the following round to retain his UFC lightweight title.

‘The Eagle’ is expected to face newly-crowned interim champ Dustin Poirier in a title unification bout, but Mendez doesn’t see Poirier as much of a threat.

Speaking to SportsDaily.ru in a recent interview, Mendez said he still ranks McGregor as Nurmagomedov’s No. 1-threat due to the former champ’s boxing skills.

“Talking about four potential rivals for Khabib I can give my assessment from the [least] dangerous to the most dangerous,” Mendez said. (h/t MMA News). “Max Holloway [would] be the easiest for Khabib. Max has good boxing but it lacks the power to the lightweight division. Next on the list is Dustin Poirier. He’s got stamina and versatility. Tony Ferguson is my second choice. His elbows are very dangerous. And finally [the] number one contender for me is still Conor. His boxing is special, that’s his chance.”

McGregor is expected to return to the Octagon this summer, although no opponent has been announced.

As for Khabib, the 30-year-old, sambo powerhouse is rumored to defend his title against Poirier at the upcoming UFC 242 pay-per-view in Abu Dhabi. The event will take place on September 7 at a currently unconfirmed venue.