Khabib coach states terms for Jake Paul to join fabled gym
Respected MMA coach Javier Mendez has poured cold water on Jake Paul's plans to roll up at the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) which helped forge Russian UFC lightweight icon Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Late last year, 5-0 novice boxer Paul expressed a desire to switch to MMA after seeing off former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley twice in the squared circle and knocking out Ben Askren earlier in 2021.
"I’m going to go and get coached up by Javier Mendez, Team Khabib [Nurmagomedov] and that’s that," Paul boasted before putting Woodley's lights out in their second meeting in Tampa in December.
"They’re down, 100% – I’ve got to go 10-0 or 12-0 in boxing first and then I’ll hit that MMA fight," he claimed.
AKA boss Mendez has now spoken on the possibility of Paul becoming the newest addition to the highly-regarded San Jose institution which has seen greats such as Nurmagomedov and Daniel Cormier, plus ex-middleweight champ Luke Rockhold pass through its gates.
"It could happen," Mendez admitted to The Schmo.
"But like anybody, you know we have to go through all the coaches and all the fighters that are here and anybody that’s a famous athlete like him.
"They will go through the routine that everybody does so he would have to get voted by everybody," Mendez explained.
"If there’s one person in particular that doesn’t want him here for that particular reason, he can’t be here, so everybody would have to vote."
As Mendez confirmed, Paul has "never asked" if he can train under his instructions, but the coach does have some respect for how the prankster has "marketed himself out there beautifully."
"I loved the plug he gave us. I think it was a fantastic plug and I think he’s a fantastic person and I think he markets himself fantastically. I love what he does," Mendez confessed.
Paul, 24, is awaiting his next assignment but has called out another UFC brawler in Jorge Masvidal amid making demands of president Dana White to increase fighter pay.
Showing his eagerness for a potential MMA transition, Paul recently uploaded footage of himself to social media on his alleged first day practicing kicks that would aid him in the octagon.
"Doubted every step of the way. But kick down the doors of the doubters," he wrote in a caption to the clip liked over 400,000 times where he tagged White's rival promotions such as Bellator and PFL.
Among those leaving comments was another ex-middleweight king in Chris Weidman.
"Be careful with that!" he advised, harking back to a horror leg break he suffered in April last year at UFC 261 – a carbon copy of that which Anderson Silva also had to endure against Weidman in December 2013 at UFC 168.