Last week’s UFC 229 press conference between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov was a definite specticle all in itself.
Not only did it give us our money’s worth in terms of the trash talking and mind games, which was mostly anchored by McGregor himself, but we also witnessed a side of McGregor that might have rubbed some fans the wrong way.
As a matter of fact, a lot of fans felt McGregor over stepped his boundaries at the presser when he started going after Nurmagomedov’s family, entourage, and even his religion.
Javier Mendez, who is Nurmagomedov’s head coach, recently gave his thoughts on Conor McGregor’s actions at the UFC 229 presser and obviously was not surprised by his personal antics towards his fighter.
“He took it too far as far as what should not be done,” Javier Mendez said of Conor McGregor’s trash talk on the latest episode of BJPENN.COM Radio. “To me, I always tell my fighters, stay away from family, stay away from politics, stay away from religion. Those are the three subjects he hit repeatedly. Over, and over, and over again. But that’s who he is, so it’s not like we weren’t expecting he wasn’t gonna do that. Most of the fighters respect those things and they don’t touch them. Not this guy, that’s not his style.”
“His style, he don’t give a — he’s gonna say whatever he wants,” he added. “To get into your head, and he’s not doing it cause he’s a bad guy, he’s doing it because he’s trying to screw with your head. And that’s what he was doing. Unfortunately in this case they do hate each other, so I will say that.”
While Khabib Nurmagomedov had every reason to respond to McGregor, he instead chose to keep his composure as he feels he’ll do all his talking inside the octagon when he meets the outspoken Irishman at UFC 229.
Mendez believes this was good for Nurmagomedov, to not involve himself with McGregor’s verbal escapade at the press conference.
“Originally, I told [Nurmagomedov], before this all started, ‘he’s gonna come at you with everything you could think of,’” Mendez said. “He’s gonna do his research, he’s gonna come in and throw some stuff at you and make things up, and this and that. I go, ‘so you need to come back at him with fire, like he is,’ and [Nurmagomedov] goes, ‘No, I’m not gonna do that, that’s not who I am, coach.’ And I said, ‘Okay, well if that’s not who you are, then don’t do it. What you need to do is stay relaxed, stay calm, don’t get into a heated debate with him on a lot of these subjects, cause he’s gonna come at you.’ And that’s exactly what he did.”
“It’s probably the best what we did, because Conor wasn’t letting Khabib talk anyway,” he added.
Though it did seem impossible for any words to be said by the UFC lightweight champion once McGregor revved up his loquacious motor at the UFC 229 presser, Mendez is adamant that McGregor’s strong words didn’t efffect him.
“I’m sure he got a little bit agitated, because as a fighter, you do want to come up, but you remain calm and relaxed,” Mendez explained. “And you hold out. And he remained as calm as he could be. Hundred percent.”
Nurmagomedov told Mendez that while McGregor’s words didn’t do him any harm, the stench of whiskey on his breath did.
“From what I know, it’s [had] zero [effect],” Mendez said. “I called him, I go, ‘How’d you feel?’ And he goes, ‘Great, coach, I feel really good.’ He goes, ‘Coach, he smelled like whiskey really bad.’ Well, who knows if it was only on the stage, or before the stage, I don’t know. It definitely was a ploy. He definitely was doing it to get his brand over. So, good for him. It was one of those things where I think he tried as hard as he could to get Khabib riled up and it didn’t work.”
“We’re going in, October 6th, and we’re gonna smash [McGregor],” he concluded. “That’s it. He doesn’t change, no anger, no nothing. Emotionless.”
What do you make of Conor McGregor’s trash talking at the UFC 229 press conference?