Dana Tells Khabib: Give Up The Title If You Want To Fight GSP
After a one-on-one meeting with Dana White behind closed doors in Abu Dhabi on Friday, Khabib Nurmagomedov has once again become talk of the town.
Both Dana and Khabib shared clips of their meeting on social media, sending the MMA world into a frenzy. The UFC president spent the evening with ‘The Eagle’ as he joined him to watch some fights at a UAE Warriors MMA event for his Lookin’ For A Fight show. The event was held in honour of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.
There’s a lot of speculation about the meeting’s outcome. Some predict Dana has possibly succeeded in his attempts to lure Khabib back into fighting, by offering him a fight with Georges St-Pierre, while others believe much of the discussion was about the business partnership between the UFC and the Dagestani’s new MMA promotion, Eagle Fighting Championship.
GSP Excited For Khabib Fight
But if indeed Khabib is taking a U-turn on his decision, St-Pierre is more than happy to welcome him back to the Octagon. Speaking to ‘Tim and Sid‘ (as transcribed by BJPenn.com), GSP shared his views on a potential showdown with the UFC lightweight champion.
“It freaking excites me, man. Khabib is bigger than me. He’s a better weight cutter than me, probably, and I’m older than he is, and that plays too,” St-Pierre said. “We need to know the terrain. It’s one of the principles of the art of war. I need to know if I fight in a place that he knows the terrain and I don’t, it’s an advantage for him. Right now it’s an advantage for him. I don’t have the structure to train, and he does. So there needs to compromise on both sides to make the fight happen.”
Defend Or Vacate
Khabib retired from the sport after a third successive title defence against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 last October. Dana isn’t known to chase retired fighters, but he certainly sees Nurmagomedov as a major asset to the company.
Speaking to UFC Arabia prior to the meeting, Dana said that he had allowed Khabib plenty of time to reconsider his decision.
“Here’s the thing,” Dana said. “The last time he fought here [against Gaethje], he was under tremendous pressure physically, mentally, emotionally. His Dad had just died, and I don’t think that anybody should make a decision that big with what he was dealing with. He’s had time to go home and heal, spend time with family, think about a lot of things, so this is just going to be a real easy conversation. Just yes or no.”
Although Dana said that his meeting with Khabib was going to be a “quick” one, it was anything but, as several media outlets reported that the talks went on for over an hour. It’s very possible that the 32-year-old was presented with a list of potential fights, including a rematch with Conor McGregor, should he beat Dustin Poirier at UFC 257, and a fight with Charles Oliveira.
“I mean [a rematch with] Conor McGregor is a no-brainer if he wins the fight [against Poirier],” Dana said. “[Charles] Oliveira is out there now. There’s guys out there that are big fights, good fights… fights that make sense for him. It just depends where his head’s at and what he wants to do.”
But if Khabib truly has no interest in fighting either McGregor or Poirier, as he has mentioned before, and wants to fight St-Pierre, he’d have to vacate his lightweight belt.
“I don’t know,” Dana continued. “I think that if he wanted to fight Georges St-Pierre, you have him give up the title, and him and Georges St-Pierre fight.”
Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Georges St-Pierre happens in the future?