Over the last few years, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s name has been linked with Georges St-Pierre’s. Both men agree that it is the perfect “legacy fight” that would cement their status as two of the greatest names in the sport’s history.
But at this point, a mere agreement is far from happening. One of the issues is the weight, which lies more on St-Pierre’s end. In a recent conversation with TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter, the former welterweight and middleweight champion addressed these concerns.
Spoke with the legendary Georges St-Pierre and asked why he would want to step back into the UFC pressure cooker when he could be comfortably retired.— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) October 7, 2020
His reply: "Why step back in? But why NOT step back in? We only live once! So that's the question that I'm facing now." pic.twitter.com/IxYLhBE68O
“There’s a lot of infrastructure problems in the weight class,” St-Pierre stated (transcript by MMA Fighting). “He’s fighting at 155. I know I can go at 155, but the problem is now I’m 39. Three years have passed [since my last fight]. I haven’t cut weight for a long time. If I go down to 155, my performance will be compromised.
“I know Khabib is about the same size as me, he’s maybe bigger than me when he’s off season. I never got up to 200 [pounds]. I’m at 185. So that turns to his advantage if we cut more weight, he’s able to bounce back more than I am. He’s used to it.”
St-Pierre, like many, isn’t a fan of cutting weight. And with the added difficulty of the process given his age, he suggests a possible compromise that would make him agree.
“I’ve never been a fan of cutting weight,” he said. “Even when I was a welterweight, I was 185. Most guys now are much bigger than 185. But that’s one of the principles of The Art of War. Know the terrain.
“I don’t know. I’ve never fought at 155. He knows. I believe to make it fair we need to fight in a place where we’ve never been, both of us. That would have to be a condition to me coming back if it happens.”
Nurmagomedov did have a few fights at welterweight during his earlier years as a pro. But for the bigger part of his stellar run, he’s been tearing through elite competition at 155 pounds.
Khabib will put his title and undefeated record on the line against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 on October 24.