Khabibs tränare till attack mot Joe Rogan: “Han förstår ingenting”
UFC-kommentatorn Joe Rogan har hamnat i blåsväder efter sitt kommenterande under helgens UFC 223. Detta efter att han kritiserade Khabib Nurmagomedovs standup mot Al Iaquinta – trots att Khabib hade bättre strikingsiffror, med 134 slag jämfört med Iaquintas 41. Khabib tog dessutom hem alla fem ronder med ett domarresultat på 50-43, 50-43 och 50-44.
Rogans kommenterande fick bland andra Khabibs huvudtränare, Javier Mendez, att ilskna till. I en nylig intervju med MMA Fighting menar Mendez att Rogan inte alls förstod vad som försiggick under matchen, och att han borde göra sin research bättre i framtiden.
“I saw the fight last night with Joe Rogan commentating and he totally didn’t understand what the hell’s going on,” säger Mendez under måndagens The MMA Hour. “Because he totally based that thing completely wrong. ‘Oh, he exposed Khabib. There’s a lot of holes in his game.’ There are no holes in his game. He’s never been a stand-up guy, yet he’s gotten better, and if you don’t acknowledge how much better he’s gotten compared to the last time, then you’re not really doing your research. Because he switched southpaw on this guy, he even did a goddamn back kick, for God’s sake.”
It is insanely rare to have a fighter as dominant as @khabib_nurmagomedov. In one of the most talent stacked divisions to go 25 and 0 is incredible, but to do it without even having a rough moment in a fight is completely unheard of. The closest thing to adversity he’s had to face in the Octagon before Saturday was one solid punch that was landed by Michael Johnson in a fight that was otherwise a horrifically one-sided mauling. When I’m commentating on someone that dominant I am constantly looking for cracks in their armor, and on Saturday night we saw the first of those cracks exposed by an incredibly game Al Iaquinta. Most people, myself included, expected the highly favored Khabib to rag doll his last minute opponent the way he’s done to everyone else he faced in the Octagon, and that was the case in the early going, but as the fight got into the later rounds Al was able to keep the fight standing and we saw some possible flaws in Khabib’s defense. Make no mistake about it, Khabib won that fight by a landslide, but it went to a decision, and that in and of itself was an upset. When I’m looking at a fighter as spectacularly talented as Khabib fighting a guy like Al who is an almost impossible underdog I’m not just looking at this fight, but I’m looking at openings that can possibly be exploited by the best fighters in the division. I saw some of those openings Saturday night, and I certainly found them interesting. In no way am I biased against Khabib, in fact I’m a massive fan of his and he’s one of my all time favorite fighters. If any of you were annoyed by my concentrating on that aspect of an incredibly dominant performance by one of the most impressive guys in the history of the division, please accept my sincere apology. When I commentate on fights my goal is to highlight the action and make it more exciting for the fans at home. Obviously all this is done live in real time, and if I had to go back and do it again I would often be able to do a better job. Even after all the years I’ve been commentating I still learn something new about the position with each and every event, and when that stops happening that will most likely be when I quit.
“Behöver inte be om ursäkt”
Rogan har sedermera bett om ursäkt via sin Instagram (se ovan) för sitt kommenterande – men det är något som Mendez inte alls tycker han borde ha gjort. Däremot förstår han om fans har reagerat gentemot hans uttalanden under helgens titelmatch.
“I love Rogan, but yeah, if he’s apologized, he shouldn’t,” säger Mendez. “He doesn’t need to apologize. Hey, that guy’s fantastic in my eyes. He says something, it causes controversy.
“So for me, he doesn’t need to apologize. But I’m sure he’s probably getting a lot of hate mail, because, I mean, when you think about it — right? — you call a fight for this guy and say he’s open to getting hit, open… but yet he out-struck a guy that, before this, you would’ve thought he’d never out-strike.”