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Georges St-Pierre: ‘If I want the legacy fight, Khabib is the man to beat’

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Retired former UFC champion Georges St-Pierre discusses the talked-about fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov.

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One of the most talked-about potential marquee matchups for UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is against Georges St-Pierre. It’s something “The Eagle” has been wanting for a while now, but the mere idea of it was already shut down by the UFC brass.

During a recent guesting on TSN’s Montreal 690 radio show, St-Pierre talked about the said fight and how it eventually fell through, leading to his decision to finally walk away from the sport.

“A lot of people are attention-seekers; they retire to come back,” he said. “I’m not that type of guy. We tried to make the fight with Khabib and the UFC told us they had other plans.

“Khabib wanted the fight, I wanted the fight, but unfortunately, it did not happen. That’s the reason why I retired,” he continued. “And for me, it’s a lot more to lose than to win now. And the most important thing for me is my health. And I’m no longer – right now as I’m talking – pursuing my goal, which back in the day was to be the best fighter in the world.

“I was for many years, and it’s not my number one priority anymore.”

St-Pierre says he still considered the Khabib fight as one that would cement his legacy in the sport. He also likes his chances against the undefeated Russian, should they get the chance to lock horns inside the Octagon.

“If I want the legacy fight, Khabib is the man to beat right now,” St-Pierre said. “He is the best fighter in the world right now to me. Undefeated, and he hasn’t shown any kind of weakness. Nobody has ever been close to solving the puzzle. So that’s why it was very interesting for me.

“There are different areas of the fight where I’m better than him,” he added. “Even though he’s better than me in some stuff, I’m quicker in and out and controlling the distance and getting inside for the takedown. (I’m) faster in the open stance.

“He’s better near the fence. I’m better in the open. If I get that fight in the open, I win.”

While a matchup of such magnitude is a lucrative one to make, St-Pierre isn’t counting on it, given his own uncertainty.

“Maybe they don’t want me to beat him because if I leave after that, I ruin their own investment,” he said.

The 38-year-old St-Pierre officially retired from the sport in February, after 15 years of professional competition. He ended his career with a record of 26-2 (with 14 wins by stoppage).