GSP Still Wants To Fight Khabib For His Legacy
Back in February, George St-Pierre held a press conference in Montreal, Canada, where he officially announced to the world that he was retiring from the sport of MMA.
Although many thought this was merely a stunt, as a means to negotiating a deal with the UFC, two weeks later, the former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion left the USADA drug testing pool.
During the press conference, GSP stated the main reason that he was retiring from the sport, was that the UFC didn’t want him to fight the one man he wanted to fight, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
In a recent interview with TSN (as transcribed by MMA Fighting), GSP reiterated the fact that he still wants to fight Khabib.
“A lot of people are attention seekers, they retire to come back and retire to come back. I’m not that type of guy. We tried to make that 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.
“For me, it’s a lot more to lose than to win now and the most important thing for me is my health. 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. It was for many years and now it’s not my number one priority anymore.”
UFC president Dana White has stuck to his guns and talked down any possibility of a GSP vs Khabib fight whenever he’s been asked about it. GSP knows that although the door may be currently closed on a fight with Khabib, the door to fighting someone else in the UFC is still open. But the Canadian insists he is only interested on coming back to fight Khabib.
“If I want the legacy fight, Khabib is the man to beat right now. He’s the best fighter in the world right now to me. Undefeated and he hasn’t shown any kind of weakness. Nobody has ever come close to solving the puzzle, so that’s why it was very interesting for me.”
But as much as GSP would thrive on the challenge of fighting the current UFC lightweight champion, he is confident he matches up well against him.
“I think there’s different areas of the fight that I’m better than him. 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 faster in the open stance. He’s better near the fence, I’m better in the open.
“If I keep that fight in the open, I win.”
As much as GSP wants this fight, he understands why the UFC isn’t keen. The 38 year is no longer interested in winning belts and defending them. As much as the fans would love to see GSP and Khabib face off inside the Octagon, the UFC don’t want another case similar to when GSP beat Michael Bisping to win the UFC middleweight title and then relinquished the belt.
Or as GSP suggests, maybe the UFC don’t want him to beat their unbeaten superstar.
“Maybe they don’t want me to beat him because if I leave after that, I ruin their whole investment.”
Would you like to see GSP vs Khabib Nurmagomedov face off inside the Octagon?