A bout between lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and MMA legend Georges St-Pierre has been something both fighters have wanted for a while now, but UFC has been more than reluctant on putting it on. GSP was previously shut down in his numerous attempts to negotiate, and it was part of the reason he officially retired in 2019.
Khabib though, is confident that it can still happen, with him now saying that the UFC is willing to negotiate with St-Pierre this time around.
“If I beat Gaethje, then in April I could fight St-Pierre,” Khabib told Russian media (via MMA Junkie). “(The UFC) told me that they will negotiate with St-Pierre.
“This is a fight between my dreams and my father,” he explained. “Time is ticking, St-Pierre is 40 years old next year, he has to decide whether we will fight or not.”
Khabib says the time for that GSP super-fight is now. If it still falls through though, he’ll simply face the person who can beat Dustin Poirier, who he considers the top contender right now.
“If I don’t fight St-Pierre, I’d fight anyone who beats Dustin Poirier next,” Khabib said (via RT Sport). “If (St-Pierre) comes back to the UFC and agrees to fight me, I’m fighting him.
“Why? Because the last time he lost was 2007. My career started in 2008. Together we’ve been undefeated for 25 years. I’m talking in terms of time, not fights. I don’t think the UFC will get another chance to make a fight like that, definitely not in the next 10 years. So, Georges St-Pierre is next. If not, then let Conor beat (Dustin) Poirier or have Tony Ferguson beat him, then I’ll fight them.”
Dana White previously mentioned how he doesn’t like the idea of St-Pierre possibly winning then vacating another belt. GSP, who maintained he has always been willing to do a catchweight, believes that the UFC just doesn’t want him to ruin their investment.
So if it’s true that UFC is finally willing to negotiate and make the fight happen now — which White has also stated — then what changed? Khabib mentioned St-Pierre’s advanced age, but perhaps it’s because that belt might get vacated regardless, with Khabib already talking about retirement himself.
“As far as retirement, I’ve been having lots of different thoughts. Right now I’m thinking of my next fight,” Khabib said (via RT Sport). “I’m 31, I’ll be 32 in September. That’s a significant age. I’m no longer a rookie. Looking back at how much time I invested in the sport, it’s fair to say I’m a veteran. I’ve been a professional for 12 years, since 2008. I have been in the UFC for more than eight years. If you look back, I’ve had an excellent career. Right now, I’m motivated to come back, to fight, to keep busy.
“We’ll see what’s next. This whole year, I’ve dedicated to training. All of this helps distract me from everything that’s happening around me.”
St-Pierre, 39, hasn’t fought since his 2017 win that made him a two division champion. Prior to that he also had a lengthy four-year layoff.