MMA legend Georges St-Pierre may have retired from the sport, but has long made it known that he would love to fight current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
It’s a fight Nurmagomedov wants too. However, UFC president Dana White has poured cold water on that dream booking for a while, mostly due to the fact St-Pierre failed to defend the middleweight title he won off Michael Bisping in 2017 after making a comeback from long hiatus away from MMA.
Appearing on TSN’s Montreal 690 radio show [H/T Bloody Elbow], GSP stated his decision to retire was largely due to the fact he knew his fight with Nurmagomedov was off the cards.
“A lot of people are attention-seekers; they retire to come back,” St-Pierre said. “I’m not that type of guy. We tried to make the 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. And for me, it’s a lot more to lose than to win now. And the most important thing for me is my health. And 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.
“I was for many years, and it’s not my number one priority anymore.”
As if St-Pierre’s legacy as an MMA pioneer isn’t already secured, the French-Canadian believes a fight with Nurmagomedov would be the one to really cement his status as one of the sport’s greats.
“If I want the legacy fight, Khabib is the man to beat right now,” St-Pierre said. “He is the best fighter in the world right now to me. Undefeated, and he hasn’t shown any kind of weakness. Nobody has ever been close to solving the puzzle. So that’s why it was very interesting for me.
“There are different areas of the fight where I’m better than him,” he added. “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. (I’m) faster in the open stance.
“He’s better near the fence. I’m better in the open. If I get that fight in the open, I win.”