Umar Nurmagomedov will become UFC champion in five fights, says Mendez

Umar Nurmagomedov will emulate his cousin and become a UFC champion ‘five fights from now’, claims Khabib’s former coach Javier Mendez, as he heaps praise on Russian following his winning debut over Sergey Morozov

  • Javier Mendez has high expectations for Khabib Nurmagomedov’s cousin, Umar
  • The MMA coach believes Umar will become UFC champion in the next few years
  • Umar got his UFC career off to a winning start after he beat Sergey Morozov

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s former coach Javier Mendez has sky-high expectations for the Russian’s younger cousin, Umar.

Just a month after Umar won his UFC debut in emphatic fashion against Sergey Morozov, American Kickboxing Academy head coach Mendez believes the younger Nurmagomedov will be the next champion of the bantamweight division in ‘five or six fights from now’.

With Khabib now retired, Umar is flying the Nurmagomedov banner in the promotion and Mendez claims it won’t be too long before we see him emulate his iconic cousin and have UFC gold wrapped around his waist.

Umar Nurmagomedov will become a UFC champion in the next few years, claim Javier Mendez

‘I’ve been saying it, in five or six fights, I expect him to be fighting for a title, and I believe we’re seeing a new champion, 100 percent,’ Mendez told MMA Junkie

‘He still has some improvements to make, but he’s going to make them. And yeah, you will be seeing him with the strap in five or six fights from now.’

Nurmagomedov signed with the UFC in January 2020 but he only made his promotional debut last month as a result of illness and the ongoing global pandemic.

However, when he did arrive, he arrived in style by submitting Morozov with a second-round rear-naked choke on January 20 – exactly nine years to the day when Khabib enjoyed a triumphant debut using the same technique.

‘It was really nice to finally see him get this opportunity after so many things have happened,’ Mendez said. 

Mendez (left) helped train Khabib Nurmagomedov (right) throughout his UFC career

Mendez was full of praise for Umar (right) following his UFC debut win over Sergey Morozov

‘It was nice for him to do it as the same date as Khabib – January 20 is the same date Khabib entered (the UFC), and the choke was the same as Khabib’s choke, so all those combined, it was an incredible experience.

‘He came in not a Khabib prodigy, he came in as Umar. He’s just himself, and he showed what great talent he has and diversity in different techniques. 

‘But father’s plan is still best plan for Team Eagle, and he showed that, too. He also showed these guys can strike, too.’

As it stands, Petr Yan currently holds the bantamweight title in the UFC but will now have another target on his back should Umar stay undefeated – just like his cousin.

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