Firas Zahabi reveals the recipe for a Georges St-Pierre return to the Octagon.
The Tristar head coach broke down the factors for a St-Pierre return fight on the Pull No Punches podcast with Kajan Johnson and Shakiel Mahjouri.
“If Conor came back to win the title, and it’s very conceivable... If he comes back to the prestige he had before losing to Khabib [Nurmagomedov], maybe it will call Georges in,” Zahabi said.
St-Pierre officially announced his retirement from MMA at a press conference in Montreal on Feb. 21.
Zahabi noted how McGregor has already beat Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier, both of whom will vie for the interim UFC lightweight title at UFC 236. GSP still has Nurmagomedov on his radar, but Zahabi has no idea when the reigning champ will clear up his issues with UFC or Nevada.
Should a bout with Nurmagomedov materialize, Zahabi says there are conditions that need to be met. He said the fight should take place, “at 165 or something like that. Something we can all agree on. It would have to be a five rounder, of course, but I think that fight was too complicated to put together and I don’t know why.”
Zahabi is not sure if a championship belt is a necessary component to bring GSP out of retirement, but the Tristar coach reiterated, “it has to be a five-rounder. I don’t think Georges will ever want to do a three round fight.”
Some have suggested GSP’s retirement is a negotiation tactic. Zahabi says otherwise.
“Honestly, if you know Georges, and Kajan knows well, you know he is not that kind of guy,” Zahabi insists. “He is such an honest guy, even if it’s embarrassing. He comes from a small town with good honest people... He is a good egg.”
Zahabi, who is Muslim, also touched on Nurmagomedov’s anger over a play that took place in Dagestan. The show featured a woman in lingerie, something the lightweight champ referred to as “filth.” Zahabi does not know much about the story or Dagestan’s laws, but broke it down nonetheless.
“In Islam it’s very simple,” he said. “Whatever is the law of the land, that is what you obey. For instance, I live in Canada... Is it illegal in Dagestan to do that? If it is, you broke a Dagestani law... If it’s not, they didn’t.”
Zahabi has no problem with Nurmagomedov protesting, but he says the champion should be cautious about seeking punishment against the play’s producers.
“You can voice your opinion against it,” Zahabi explained. “I wouldn’t call for punishment because punishment is the government's job.”