Javier Mendez says Islam Makhachev is not a one-trick pony.

Although Makhachev has used his elite grappling to dominate the majority of his opposition, his American Kickboxing Academy head coach Mendez says it won’t necessarily be his only path to victory on Saturday.

Makhachev (21-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) meets short-notice replacement Bobby Green (29-12-1 MMA, 10-7-1 UFC) in the main event of UFC Fight Night 202, which takes place at the UFC Apex and streams live on ESPN+, and Mendez sees him controlling all aspects of the fight.

“That clear-cut way, it may be the ground,” Mendez told “Submission Radio.” “It may be distance. It may be a different thing than you guys think. For Davi Ramos, the clear-cut plan for that one was stand, be the matador vs. the bull, and Islam executed that to a tee. That wasn’t a ground game. That was a standup game. If you guys watch that fight, you’ll go, ‘Wow, that was a masterful standup display by Islam Makhachev,’ and he’s way better now. So, it’s one of those scenarios where we can choose what poison we want to use, and we can change it any way we want round by round, so that’s the beauty of what he’s all about.”

Green has been riding plenty of momentum of late, knocking out Al Iaquinta at UFC 268 then outstriking Nasrat Haqparast just 10 days ago at UFC 271. But outside of getting caught, Mendez doesn’t see Makhachev losing.

“Bobby Green, he’s an incredible guy,” Mendez said. “I love the fact that he’s a great entertainer. I love the fact that he comes to fight, gives the fans a great fight. I’m a fan. He’s a great fighter, and I love the opportunity that he’s been given. He’s been around for a long time, and how he’s been put on the spotlight, so he has an opportunity to showcase that maybe he’s entitled to a title shot soon.

“We’ll see. My plan is to derail any thoughts he has of that. But anything can happen in the fight. One good shot can take care of anything. But outside of that, there’s no one that beats Islam Makhachev. I’ve been saying it from the beginning, and I’ll continue saying it now: Outside of knocking him out, you’re not going to beat this guy. It’s just not going to happen.”

Due to the short-notice nature of the fight, the bout will be contested at 160 pounds. Although Makhachev will be facing an unranked opponent in a catchweight bout, Mendez expects him to earn a title shot with a win.

“Well, the the point of the matter is this, his eight-fight winning streak or nine-fight now,” Mendez said. “He beats Bobby Green, that’s nine or 10-fight win streak. Who else has that? Who else is in the top five? I think Islam Makhachev gets a title fight with the win, with Bobby Green. Likely he should – 100 percent he should. If you look at all the other guys, you look at (Michael) Chandler, you look at Dustin (Poirier), they’ve all had their shot, and they’ve all failed.

“The only one that hasn’t had his shot and is still in that top tier is Islam Makhachev. So, should he win, which I expect he will, I expect that we’re going to get the title fight next. It makes perfect sense. Bobby Green, on the other hand, I’m not so sure if a win against Islam is going to warrant that. But if the crowd wants it and the fans want it, then you might see that. But I don’t look at us getting beat by anybody. Like I said, no one’s beating Islam Makhachev in the lightweight division. No one.”

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UFC Fight Night 202: Make your predictions for Islam Makhachev vs. Bobby Green

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