“He just doesn’t listen”: Khabib’s personal trainer says communication was initially such a challenge

Javier Mendez was Khabib Nurmagomedov’s trainer for over 8 years. During this period, the two enjoyed a great relationship. They shared many memorable experiences together.

Mendez recently opened up about Khabib and spilled some funny secrets in an interview.

“Well, he’s been telling me things lately, how we don’t understand each other and it started when we first started training,” he said.

“When he first came to me I go man this guy’s unbelievable, he’s killing everybody but damn it he doesn’t listen. 

“I go like if he could just listen he’d be so goddamn good, he could be one of the greatest, that’s what I was thinking in my mind. I’m thinking, but man, he doesn’t listen.”

Initially the Dagestani was not very fluent in English, but he managed to learn the language. Mendez remembered how Khabib told him that he used to misinterpret everything Mendez said.

“And after about the second time he came, he learned a bit of English, and he says to me, ‘coach I have to explain to you know what happened. When I first come I don’t understand you say relax, I always think to go harder so I go crazy and I try to kill people.’ That’s when I knew and we’re still doing that till now.”

Even after Nurmagomedov’s retirement, he is very close with Mendel. Both of them respect each other a lot.

He recently took to Instagram to express his love for his coach. “Coach, I miss you, I don’t know about you,” he wrote.

It is rare to see such a loving relationship as theirs where many fighters break their ties with their coaches after retirement. Many fans still wish to see Mendez beside Nurmagomedev in the Octagon.

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