Part of the reason Georges St-Pierre decided to retire earlier this year was due to the lack of truly compelling match-ups for him in the UFC.
One fight that did pique St-Pierre’s interest, however, was a potential mega-money bout with undefeated UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Both St-Pierre and Nurmagomedov expressed a mutual interest in the fight but, according to ‘Rush’, the UFC simply wouldn’t play ball.
“I am retired,” St-Pierre said in a recent interview with DAZN’s Robin Black, per MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew. “I retired because I didn’t want to go back and do the same thing over and over again. Taking a fight takes a lot out of me because I’m very proud so when I perform I have to do it the best I can and the result matters very much for me. So it takes a lot of stress on me. I didn’t want to take another training camp of two-three months - maybe six months with the whole building up with the promotion and everything - out of my life to fight another guy that I don’t have nothing to gain in terms of legacy. If I fight someone and I take six months of my life to focus on it . . . I would need that to be worth it to me. Not only money-wise but legacy wise and satisfaction wise. That’s why I wanted to fight Khabib because I could have lost big but at least I could have win big.
“If I ever come back, it’s not impossible but right now I don’t see nothing. The UFC refuse a fight with Khabib and I and there’s nothing that really excites me.”
St-Pierre, the former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion, went on to theorize that a loss for Khabib would have been disastrous for the UFC’s Middle Eastern market.
“It makes sense in a way,” GSP said. “My agent explained it to me like, maybe he represents a significant investment for UFC. He reaches a different type of clientele, from the Middle East, the Muslim world idolizing him. He’s an icon. Imagine that they invest a lot of money to promote a big fight between Khabib and I and I win the fight. [Wipes hands and smiles]. I’m out. I’m not interested in signing a fight with Khabib and guarantee them that I want to go back and fight another contender.”
St-Pierre retired earlier in February, just a few months after his historic middleweight title win over Michael Bisping at UFC 217.
Khabib, meanwhile, is scheduled to take on interim lightweight champ Dustin Poirier this Saturday at UFC 242. The highly anticipated pay-per-view will take place at The Arena, Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.