Islam Makhachev's Coach Responds To Colby Covington's USA vs. Dagestan Wrestling Challenge

UFC Lightweight Champion Islam Makhachev’s head coach has addressed Colby Covington’s recent jabs against his star pupil’s wrestling style.

Makhachev knocked out Alexander Volkanovski in the UFC 294 main event last Saturday in Abu Dhabi. After their closely contested title fight at UFC 284, Makhachev put an exclamation and finality to their rivalry.

Makhachev is expected to face another top lightweight contender, potentially Justin Gaethje, sometime in the new year. He’s also hinted at a move to welterweight to face the winner of Leon Edwards vs. Covington.

Amidst talks of Makhachev moving up, Covington has downplayed the Dagestan wrestling skillset that has made Makhachev into an elite fighter. After leading Makhachev through numerous fight camps, his coach feels Covington should pump the brakes.

Related: UFC 294 Results & Highlights: Islam Makhachev KO’s Alexander Volkanovski, Khamzat Chimaev Outpoints Kamaru Usman

Javier Mendez Responds To Colby Covington’s Wrestling Comments

During a recent interview with Submission Radio, coach Javier Mendez previewed a possible Makhachev vs. Covington matchup and cautioned Covington against undervaluing Makhachev’s wrestling.

“Colby’s already started some really cool stuff, Dagestan wrestling vs. American wrestling,” Mendez said. “All I gotta say is… you gotta pay attention to the Dagestanis wrestling, buddy. One of Islam’s wrestling partners who trains with him all the time is the individual who beat Kyle Dake, who won a national title at four weight divisions, no one’s done that, ever in U.S. wrestling history…

“MMA isn’t wrestling, either…these guys are masters at it, so I would love Colby and Islam because there’s already talk there, but we’ll see what happens.”

Covington is looking to become the undisputed UFC welterweight champion after two title losses to Kamaru Usman. He hasn’t fought since a win over Jorge Masvidal last year at UFC 272.

While Covington has a wrestling background, he’s also showcased elite cardio and impressive striking in his fights. It could be an interesting tidbit to watch in a possible matchup with the equally fit Makhachev.

Ahead of UFC 296, Makhachev is waiting in the wings for a possible shot at Covington, and a chance to prove that Dagestan wrestling is superior to the American style.

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