UFC: Georges St-Pierre Discusses ‘Hypothetical’ Superfight With Khabib
Going into UFC 254, there was a large consensus in the MMA community that should Khabib Nurmagomedov successfully defend his lightweight title against Justin Gaethje, he would campaign for a fight with Georges St-Pierre and the chance to retire from the sport with a perfect 30-0 record.
29-0 And Gone
Instead however, after his win over Gaethje, Khabib shocked the world by announcing his retirement inside the Octagon. Having lost his father Abdulmanap prior to UFC 254, he promised his mother that he wouldn’t fight again now that his father was no longer by his side.
“I was in the same boat as everybody. I thought maybe he would have called me out to maybe pressure the UFC to organise the fight.”
‘Hypothetical’ Superfight Between GSP And Khabib
Prior to UFC 254, Khabib had on several occasions discussed how it was his father’s dream for him to beat St-Pierre to move to 30-0, and then hang up his gloves. And although GSP is retired and hasn’t fought since beating Michael Bisping for the middleweight title three years ago at UFC 217, he has often hinted that he would come out of retirement to fight the undefeated Dagestani. Should the opportunity had came up for a superfight however, the former two division UFC champion said may still have turned it down.
“It doesn’t mean I would have accepted,” St-Pierre said. “Everybody says, ‘Oh, when is it going to happen?’ I never said I wanted to do it. It depends [on] the conditions too. I could think about it seriously if the conditions are right in terms of the weight class and all that, but there’s no way I’m gonna go down to 155 [pounds] now. I’m 39 years old and this is out of the window…
“We’re both about the same size. I’m not gonna lie. I wake up in the morning and I’m about 183 pounds. I’m sure he’s about the same weight as me if not probably bigger. So I think the weight class. It’s like a novelty fight, a superfight. You need to stipulate the rule maybe no weight class or maybe [that] you cannot be more than three percent different in terms of weight. I don’t know but there’s ways to do it. You don’t have to cut weight and damage yourself to do something like that.”
“I’m Confident In Myself”
With Khabib staying firm to his stance that he doesn’t want to fight again, we can all but say goodbye to the superfight with St-Pierre. Should the fight have ever happened however, GSP believes he would have had the skillset and confidence to come out of it triumphant.
“If in a hypothetical world this fight would happen, I think I would need to use all my tools,” St-Pierre said. “I’m good at what I do and it’s not because I’m fighting Khabib that I’m gonna change my way of fighting. The way I fight, that’s how I’ve been successful all of my career. I think the mistake that a lot of guys are doing when they fight Khabib is that they change the way they’re fighting because Khabib is very known to be probably the best wrestler in the sport. [But] I’m good with the takedown, to mix it up. It’s not because I’m fighting Khabib that I’m not gonna mix it up with him. If I have a chance to put him down, I’m gonna try to put him down. I believe in my chance to put him down and I’m confident in myself.
“I think confidence is a very important piece of the puzzle in MMA to be successful and I believe a lot of guys when they fight a legend fighter status, part of that confidence and their skill goes out the window. That’s one of the mistakes I would not do because I know Khabib would not do it against myself.”
Before talk of a superfight between the two began again last year, St-Pierre said that he was content in his retirement. And the same can still be said today. While he may consider a lucrative offer from the UFC, he says he certainly won’t be chasing a fight back inside the Octagon.
“If the UFC would want me back, it’s not me that would try to go and beg for a fight. ‘Hey please, can I come back?’ They’re gonna lowball the s*** out of me,” St-Pierre stated. “It would be the most stupid thing I could do. If they have an offer to make to me, an offer I cannot refuse, Dana knows where to reach me.”
How would a fight between Georges St-Pierre and Khabib Nurmagomedov have played out?