Khabib Nurmagomedov's coach believes that if the UFC lightweight champion is indeed retired, Dustin Poirier deserves the first title shot.
Javier Mendez, head coach of American Kickboxing Academy, offered his thoughts on what should be in store for the lightweight division if his star pupil indeed never fights again. Mendez gave The Schmozone Podcast a collection of names but insisted he'd like to see Dustin Poirier in the mix most of all.
“Let’s face it, if in fact he’s not coming back, and we know that for a fact - and I don’t know that - but if in fact he’s not, then the rightful person that should be fighting for the title is Dustin against anybody,” Mendez said (h/t MMA Fighting). “So to me, they got one of the right persons in there. Conor would be the second right one, or it could be Justin Gaethje or it could be Michael Chandler. It doesn’t matter. Or (Charles) Oliveira. What matters is that Dustin is in the title hunt because he’s the one that, in my opinion, is most deserving of a title shot.”
Mendez commented later in the interview about what Nurmagomedov's plans had been prior to the death of his father Abdulmanap, which included a final fight against Georges St. Pierre.
“I don’t know, because we never talked about it, but I can only tell you this," he added. "His father, his vision was for Khabib to fight GSP and retire at 30-0. So if Dana anything to do with anything, it isn’t a boatload of money because I don’t believe that’s gonna be the case. It would be something to the effect of something that very much interests him. So maybe a GSP fight. I don’t know, I’m guessing."