Khabib Nurmagomedov celebrates following his UFC 223 victory.

Khabib Nurmagomedov celebrates following his UFC 223 victory. Photo from BBC.co.uk

Javier Mendez ranks the toughest opponents for Khabib Nurmagomedov

UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov has still yet to lose a professional MMA fight. The Russian has barely lost a single round, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t tough fights out there for him, especially in the stacked lightweight division.

Speaking to SportsDaily.ru recently, Mendez named four of the most compelling challenges for Khabib Nurmagomedov, ranking them from least to most dangerous.

“Talking about four potential rivals for Khabib I can give my assessment from the [least] dangerous to the most dangerous,” Mendez said of Nurmagomedov (via 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.”

Nurmagomedov is expected to fight the interim lightweight champion, Dustin Poirier in the fall. “The Diamond” has shown he has the power to knock most lightweight out, and if his last fight showed anything, it is he is durable and can go all five rounds.

Ferguson, meanwhile, is set to fight Donald Cerrone at UFC 238 which may very well decide who gets the next crack at the lightweight title. For many fans, they have said: “El Cucuy” is the toughest matchup for Nurmagomedov out there. He has very good cardio, takedown defense, and is good off his back.

Finally, although Nurmagomedov beat McGregor rather easily, Mendez still thinks he is a tough matchup. The Irishman has shown he can knock anybody out with that left hand and all he needs is one shot. For that, McGregor is still very capable of catching Nurmagomedov.

Ultimately, Mendez is confident in his pupil that no matter who he fights, the Russian will come out on top.

Check out BetAmerica review by American Gambler ahead of Nurmagomedov’s next UFC fight.