UFC: GSP’s Coach Firas Zahabi Is Backing His Man To Beat Khabib
When Georges St-Pierre retired eleven months ago, he cited the main reason being that the UFC had no interest in making the only fight he was interested in, a clash with Khabib Nurmagomedov. GSP’s long time head coach Firas Zahabi however, believes that we could still see a the two meet inside the UFC Octagon.
Speaking to fightTIPS recently (as transcribed by MMA Fighting), Zahabi said he believed that GSP would come out of retirement for the right fight. And obviously a fight with Khabib would certainly be a ‘right fight’.
“I think so. I think it’s a possibility. Listen, I don’t want to talk for the guy but I don’t think he’s done. I just he’s so competitive that one day he’s gonna see a guy that everyone thinks is unbeatable and then he’s going to want to come back. Khabib’s one of those guys but it has to be like a 165 [pounds] fight. Will the UFC do it? That’s the question.”
Although UFC president Dana White had always been against the idea of GSP vs Khabib, following Khabib’s last fight at UFC 242, where he stopped Dustin Poirier in the third round, the UFC boss told the post fight press conference that he now liked the idea of the fight between the former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion, and the current lightweight champion.
Zahabi went on to say that although he may be biased, and that he is a big fan of Khabib, he would back GSP if the two were to fight.
“There’s no way I can tell you I’m not biased. I’m biased for sure. But I think Georges just his kicking ability alone, his kicking ability alone will bank him rounds. They’re both good jabbers. I think Khabib is a good jabber but defensively, Georges is far superior. His boxing is longer and better, more precise – if you look at it statistically, his numbers are better – and he has a superior kicking ability,” Zahabi stated.
“Even if Khabib were to take Georges down – let’s give him the best case scenario – I think Georges is getting up, personally. He’s going to get up. Georges’ jiu-jitsu is impeccable. It’s impeccable. It’s not gonna be like holding down anybody in the 155 [pound] division today. It’s another level. Georges, even if Khabib gets him down – and I love Khabib, I’m a mega Khabib fan, as a person and as a fighter, I’m a huge fan of his – Georges’ ability to get up is incredible and I’ll be surprised if Khabib gets more than one takedown. It would shock me, it would surprise me to be honest with you. Georges is incredibly hard to take down. Look at his career, how many times did he get taken down? And when he was taken down, how long did he stay down? It was a fraction of a second. He’s always up. He’s a difficult human being to keep down.”
GSP hasn’t fought in just over two years, when finished Michael Bisping in the third round at UFC 217, to win the 185lbs title. It was the first time the now 38 year old had fought in four years, since walking away from the sport after his controversial win over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167.
Khabib is set to defend his 155lbs title against Tony Ferguson in the UFC 249 main event on April 18th. It is the fifth time the two have been scheduled to meet inside the Octagon. Prior to defeating Poirier, the 31 year old beat Conor McGregor at UFC 229.
Dana has stated that if Khabib beats Tony and McGregor beats ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC 246, they will rematch. Although both Khabib and his manager Ali Abdelaziz, have stated that Conor does not deserve a rematch.
How do you think a fight between Georges St-Pierre and Khabib Nurmagomedov goes?