August 7, 2020: Javier Mendez maintains Conor McGregor poses the biggest threat to Khabib Nurmagomedov inside the Octagon. Nurmagomedov meets Justin Gaethje on October 24 for the lightweight title in a much-anticipated match up that could see a door open for the Irishman’s return, and should that be the case, Nurmagomedov’s coach Mendez believes it’ll be the return of the most dangerous option for the champion. “Conor [is Khabib’s greatest threat], hands down. Hands down, Conor. For me,” Mendez said, speaking with ESPN. “Because look at the fight with Conor. He took him down the first round, how much damage did Conor sustain in that first round? How much control did Khabib have in the first round with Conor? … Where have you seen the opposite of that? … He’s had better control. Conor’s stand-up is great. … For me, Conor McGregor is the toughest challenge he’s ever had. “We’ll see what Justin brings to the table, but I still say Conor just based on what we went through.” Mendez said McGregor would also beat Gaethje, predicting that the two would engage in stand-up exchanges but the Irishman's precision striking would secure the win. 2 weeks ago: “I thought when I looked at [Gaethje], I was thinking probably the second biggest threat [to Nurmagomedov] because I still to this day believe Conor was,” Mendez said at a media day in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. “And the reason why I believe Conor was is because of that precision striking. But Justin could easily prove me wrong and prove to be the toughest test we’ve ever had. We’ve yet to see that. But I know we’ve already seen Conor and that’s why I would say Conor. “If you think about it, who’s won a round against Khabib? Conor. And whose given Khabib a tough time—The first round, he took Conor down, but how much damage did Khabib give him? No, Conor was very good there, so I have to give it to Conor for that. I haven’t seen Justin. Obviously, if I’ve seen Justin already and we fought him already and we are victorious like I’m hoping, then I can tell you 100 percent he was the toughest. Right now, I think in theory he’s number two.” Post-Gaethje: "Khabib purposely toyed with, wanted to punish Conor". Mad backwards team.