Georges St-Pierre revealed that prior to retiring, his team tried to negotiate for a bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov. He says at that stage of his career, there were very few bouts that piqued his interest, but a fight with the undefeated lightweight champion was one of them.
According to St-Pierre, he started thinking about a match with Khabib even prior to his bout with Conor McGregor, and tasked his team to negotiate with the UFC and try to make it happen after. Despite both fighters seemingly interested in the match up, St-Pierre said it takes three parties to book a fight, and the UFC just didn’t like the idea.
“We were trying to make the (Khabib) fight happen. That was the legacy fight,” St-Pierre told ESPN. “(My team) tried to talk about if I can fight Khabib at 155 for the title. They tried no title, catchweight. They tried to every avenue possible but they categorically refused the idea of me fighting Khabib.
“They had other plans for Khabib,” he said. “He’s a young prodigy. He’s undefeated. Basically he’s the perfect fighter, the invincible guy. The guy to beat.”
“A few weeks ago, my agent said, ‘we tried so many times, and they were not interested.’”
While Khabib vs GSP would’ve been a box office hit, he also speculated that UFC didn’t budge because they were trying to make a business decision for the long term.
“I’m not a specialist in business, but it’s unwilling risk they won’t take,” St-Pierre said about why the UFC wasn’t interested. “I’m older, it could’ve been my last fight. I take it one fight at a time, and I’m not interested in taking a fight with a guarantee that if I win, I have to do something else. I’m not at that place in my career, in my life right now.
“He’s younger. He’s an investment. I’m the past, he’s the present. He’s the main guy that can help the UFC rise and reach different part of the world, in terms of popularity. They’re very aware of it. Fighting is a sport that everyone can lose at any given day. Maybe it was a risk they were not willing to take, business-wise.”
After knowing the bout really wouldn’t be happening, St-Pierre says that’s when he decided to hang up the gloves. He says he called Dana White prior to his retirement announcement, and reiterated that he isn’t “angry” about how things played out.